After Jimmy Anderson revealed that Australia knocked back the offer of a post-match beer following the First Test in Cardiff, Peter Siddle hit back by saying the England bowler “can’t stand” sharing a drink with his opponents in any case.
“It’s an interesting story, especially from Jimmy, considering at The Oval last time we had a drink, he said he didn’t know why we do this and that he couldn’t stand it,” said Siddle, who did not play in Cardiff. “They are interesting comments but we know what Jimmy is like.”
Siddle said the Australians would stick to their policy of only sharing a drink at the end of the series after Anderson confirmed that Michael Clarke snubbed an offer from Alastair Cook to join the England side in their dressing room.
Anderson said that England had shared a drink with New Zealand after both Tests and had been keen to carry on the tradition. However, Siddle said that he expected Clarke to go on refusing the offer for the rest of the series.
“We were invited in. It’s my fifth Ashes series and it’s the first time anyone has ever gone to have a drink after one Test match,” he said. “Like I said, I’ve played four Ashes series and we’ve never had a drink after a Test match until the very last one. I don’t think anything is going to change here.”
The England opener Adam Lyth said they would continue to make the offer, win or lose. “It would have been nice to have them in to share a beer but it’s up to them,” he said. “The door will be open here, and I’m sure that even if we get beaten here we will be knocking on their door with a few beers, but it’s their choice.”
Both sides shared a drink after every Test of the 2005 series, but the then captain, Ricky Ponting, put paid to the tradition – believing that the off field camaraderie had contributed to their defeat. Since then, the two sides have socialised only after the final Test.
Anderson had said on Monday that the players had revived the tradition during the visit of New Zealand and both sides had enjoyed it.
“After the New Zealand series, we had a beer after each game with them. We found that was quite an enjoyable thing, just to chew the fat after a hard Test. It didn’t matter whether we won or lost,” he said.
“It’s Cooky’s idea. He’s the captain, he went and asked them. We were all happy to do it. I don’t know why they didn’t come in.”
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010