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News

ECB launches inquiry after Root and Anderson are seen among 'intoxicated people' at Hobart team hotel

"Time for bed, thank you" - police had to be called in to send the merrymakers, which included Australians Lyon, Head and Carey, to their hotel rooms as the noise continued till just after 6am

Andrew Miller
Andrew Miller
18-Jan-2022
Joe Root and James Anderson walk off as players leave the field at The Oval, London, September 4, 2021

In the footage, Joe Root and James Anderson are seen alongside three Australia players  •  AFP/Getty Images

The ECB has launched an investigation after an early-morning drinking session at England's team hotel in Hobart ended with the police being called in to send the players to bed.
In mobile-phone footage published by the Sydney Morning Herald, Joe Root and James Anderson are seen alongside three Australia players - Nathan Lyon, Travis Head and Alex Carey - all still dressed in their whites following the late-night conclusion of the fifth Test at Bellerive Oval the previous evening.
The gathering was taking place in a public area in Hobart's Crowne Plaza Hotel, and had extended to 6am when the police were brought in following a noise complaint from fellow guests. The players all left the area immediately.
"Tasmania Police attended the Crowne Plaza Hobart on Monday morning after reports were made of intoxicated people in a function area," a police statement read. "The guests were spoken to by police, just after 6:00am, and left the area when asked. No further action will be taken by police."
In the footage of the incident, which appears to have been filmed by England's assistant coach, Graham Thorpe, a female police officer can be heard saying to the group: "Too loud. You have obviously been asked to pack up, so we've been asked to come. Time for bed, thank you. They just want to pack up."
In his voiceover from behind the camera, Thorpe can be heard saying, "We've got Nathan Lyon, Root, there's Carey and Anderson. I'll just video this for the lawyers. See you in the morning, everyone."
A spokesperson for the ECB said it would be investigating the incident, with the focus likely to be on how the footage made it into the public domain.
"During the early hours of Monday morning, members of the England and Australia men's teams shared a drink in the team areas of the hotel in Hobart," the ECB's statement read. "The hotel management received a noise complaint by a hotel guest, and as is commonplace in Australia, the local police attended the scene. When asked to leave by hotel management and the Tasmanian police, the players and management in question left and returned to their respective hotel rooms. The England party have apologised for any inconvenience caused.
"The ECB will investigate further. Until such times, we will make no further comment."
The incident is a further embarrassment for the England team in the wake of their 4-0 Ashes loss, amid reports that a drinking culture within the squad was a significant factor in the players' disappointing performances across the five Tests.
Ashley Giles, the ECB director of men's cricket, is due to compile a report into the circumstances of the tour, including recommendations for the future direction of the Test team. Root has already stated he wants to stay on as England captain, despite overseeing his second Ashes tour defeat in four years.

Andrew Miller is UK editor of ESPNcricinfo. @miller_cricket