“Caught up with the English side for a couple of beers, just back at the hotel,” Australia’s captain, Pat Cummins, confirmed on Monday morning. “It was a pretty hard-fought series between both teams. It’s always good to catch up after that.”
General Covid restrictions had been eased in Hobart, although both sets of players were encouraged to mix only in outdoor areas – hence the party on the fourth-floor terrace of the Crowne Plaza. Only hours later, this was the same place at which head coach Chris Silverwood was talking to the media, insisting that he was still the right man for the job.
The party ran on through the night with multiple bottles of a local lager, James Boag, and other drinks being consumed by both sets of players. Cans of Red Bull were also seen on the tables. But with the Test match’s early finish affording the squads two additional spare days before their departure from Hobart on Wednesday, they had little reason to stop.
There was no suggestion of the party turning sinister but the fact that the noise complaint which summoned the local police came from outside the hotel suggests the gathering had turned rowdy.
In the footage recorded and narrated by Graham Thorpe, England’s assistant coach, four police officers are shown arriving at the terrace just after 6am and asking the gathered revellers to leave. Those still there at this time, as well as Thorpe, include captain Joe Root, veteran bowler Jimmy Anderson and three Australian players, Nathan Lyon, Alex Carey (both of whom were still in their playing whites), and Travis Head, together with an unidentified woman.
So amiable are relations between the two sides, now that everything has concluded on the pitch, that Root appears to have a signed Nathan Lyon shirt draped around his neck.