England's 3-0 Ashes triumph is losing sheen after the Australian media reported on Monday that Kevin Pietersen, Stuart Broad and James Anderson urinated on The Oval pitch while being cheered by team-mates. According to a report in The Telegraph, Surrey -- the County that has the historic Oval as their home ground -- have asked the England cricket Board for an apology and investigate the incident.
Richard Gould, the Surrey CEO, has slammed the behaviour of the players and admitted the nature of celebration spoils England's image after a convincing series victory. Former Australian spin king Shane Warne, too has slammed the English players. Sports minister Hugh Robertson has also wanted a probe.
Former Australian leg spinner Shane Warne said: "When you play in a six to eight-week series of intense Ashes cricket you should always have a chance to let your hair down at the end. Unfortunately the way people are judged these days it's best to celebrate within the confines of the dressing room."
"Stay in there as long as you like, get as drunk as you like if that is what you want to do and enjoy your team-mates and the moment. But to go and disrespect something as ancient as the Oval pitch in such an unnecessary and crass way is a pretty ordinary and arrogant thing to do," wrote Warne.
"It's a real shame they let themselves down so badly and I'm sure it will have some big ramifications from the ECB," said Warne. However, the ECB has been rather quiet about the incident. Inquiries have gone without a reply and it is likely that the management will let the players off lightly.
In 2005, English players celebrated their Ashes win with a mammoth drinking session. The party continued in a reception at Downing Street with Prime Minister Tony Blair. It later emerged one of the players urinated in the Blair's garden.
In 2009, the ECB and coach Andy Flower were careful that the celebrations didn't go overboard. The players partied quietly before going to Ireland for a 50-over match.