July 20, 2014

England cricket

Paranormal Activity: The London files

ESPNcricinfo staff

If the England team management's word is anything to go by, it turns out there is, in fact, a valid reason why several players over the last few days have looked as if they had just seen a ghost.

According to the Daily Mail, England are convinced that their five-star central London hotel, the Langham, is haunted, with Stuart Broad openly admitting to moving rooms because he was "freaked out".

"It was so hot in my room I just couldn't sleep. All of a sudden, the taps in the bathroom came on for no reason," he said. "I turned the lights on and the taps turned themselves off. Then when I turned the lights off again the taps came on. It was very weird.

"It really freaked me out. I ended up asking to move rooms. Bealey (Broad's girlfriend) was pretty spooked, too, and I know Moeen Ali's other half won't stay there because she's so frightened of the ghosts.

"Ben Stokes has had some problems sleeping as well. He's on the third floor, which is where a lot of the issues are. I'm telling you, something weird is going on."

Room 333 is believed to be the most haunted room with the hotel's own website stating: 'In 1973 a BBC radio announcer James Alexander-Gordon awoke suddenly in the night to see a fluorescent ball which slowly took on the shape of a man wearing Victorian evening wear. The announcer asked the ghost what it wanted and it began to float towards him, with its legs cut off some two feet below the ground, arms outstretched, eyes staring emptily. At this point the announcer got up and fled.'

This, however, is not the first instance of international cricketers being spooked during a tour. In 2005, Shane Watson had to famously share a room with Brett Lee as he was frightened of ghostly activities at the Lumley Castle Hotel near Durham.

Worse yet for Watson, former England seamer Darren Gough made sure that the Australia allrounder did not forget about his scary experience soon enough.

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Posted by MiddleStumpMike on (July 22, 2014, 17:26 GMT)

It's no use blaming a London hotel. These guys have been spooked by Mitchell Johnson since the start of the last Ashes.

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