British Empire had colonized several countries by proclaiming that they are trying to ‘civilise’ these nations. If their cricket players’ acts are any kind of hint to go by, they do not seem to be a nation that could lecture someone on civility. In the wake of England’s loss in Ashes 2021, they have come out as sore losers.
England loses Ashes and the team refuses to participate in their off-field responsibilities
English cricket team seemed to be in a hurry to celebrate their new year. With more than 50 percent of game time left, they were defeated by Australia by an innings and 14 runs. Rookie bowler Scott Boland was selected as Man of the Match for taking 6 wickets while conceding only 7 runs in dismissing poms (English team) for a paltry score of 68.
— Sportskeeda (@Sportskeeda) December 28, 2021
However, more than the loss itself, players’ immoral and irresponsible conduct after the match drew ire. English players seemed to be in a hurry to hide their humiliating faces. As soon as the formal hand-shake of both teams ended, English players wasted no time in returning to their dressing room. This meant that Captain Joe Root, who is already carrying the whole team on the back of a stupendous batting performance, was left with an extra burden of handling media interactions as well.
Michael Vaughan comes down heavily on English players
The un-sportsmanship did not go well with Michael Vaughan, one of the key supporters of the English team. In a post-match interaction with Fox Cricket, he said, “What I didn’t like as Joe Root was doing the press – “I didn’t see any other England players out there. I didn’t like that. I didn’t like the fact they went straight down to the dressing rooms.”
Vaughan was sympathetic to his team and said that he understood that they were feeling embarrassed. Asking the English team to support their captain, he said, “Yes, they’re embarrassed, of course, you’re embarrassed, you’ve just performed poorly and been bowled out for 68, but show face, get on the pitch and support your captain. The captain’s got to front all the questions now and has done, the team have got to be right beside him, even in the tough times.”
Britishers’ un-sportsmanship— A tale of ages
English cricket team’s sportsmanship has always been a debatable issue in the past. During the English leg of 2013 Ashes, Stuart Broad had refused to walk after a thick edge off Ashton Agar’s delivery. Broad had edged the ball which was caught in the slips by Michael Clarke. However, he refused to accept that he had edged it. Similarly, the Australian leg of 2013 Ashes was mired by controversies leading to the sacking of their stalwart Kevin Pietersen from the team; owing to bad behaviour.
Not just players, English fans are well-known for their bad behaviour all around the world. During the 2010 Ashes series, English Barmy Army had left no stone unturned in trying to humiliate Mitchell Jhonson in his own backyard. 3-years later, they had to taste a retaliating humiliation when Mitchell Jhonson dismantled the whole team leading to the retirement of their star players.
Fans copy their sporting ideals
English fans’ brash attitude is not limited to cricket only. Scintillating performance by the English football team in Euro 2020 was whitewashed by their fans’ hooliganism. Hours before the final match between England and Italy, thousands of English fans started gathering on the streets leading to the Stadium. However, as the time of the kickoff drew close, the English fans started turning into hooligans, under the heavy influence of alcohol, and created some distasteful scenes, littering the place with garbage and indulging in hostile behaviour.
A number of England fans without tickets forced their way through the Wembley turnstiles. Supporters breached security barriers outside the stadium and squeezed behind ticket-holders and burst through the electronic gates that allow entry to the concourses and seats. The videos of fans creating ruckus and battling with stewards and police to go past the lines surfaced on social media and received widespread criticism.
It’s easy to stay calm and act like a good boy during good times. But, it’s during tough times of humiliating losses when someone’s character is actually revealed. English players’ act of disrespecting their own captain as well as the whole cricketing fraternity will not bode well with their fans.