AUSSIE cricket legend Shane Warne has labelled England’s Ashes pitch celebrations as “crass and arrogant” as County side Surrey demands an explanation.
England players – including Stuart Broad, Kevin Pietersen and James Anderson – are believed to have urinated on The Oval pitch during celebrations following the fifth Test draw.
The England and Wales Cricket Board officials are in talks with county side Surrey to smooth over any offence caused by England’s actions.
Warne, who pens a column for UK’s The Telegraph, wrote: “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 teammates 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. I wonder also if the opposition was mentioned too?”
England spinner Graeme Swann played down the late-night event.
“We did go out to the middle of the pitch, all the lads, drinking beers, singing a few songs and enjoying each other’s company,” Swann said.
“I think the call of nature might have come once or twice but it was nothing untoward.”
“It was midnight, a private celebration in the middle of the pitch and the ground was dark.
“It would be a shame if people talk about that rather than focus on a great day of Test cricket.”
But staff at The Oval, home to Surrey County Cricket Club, were angry at the “show of disrespect”.
Surrey chief executive Richard Gould said: “We’ve spoken to the ECB and they say they will be looking into the matter.”
“We would be very disappointed if it turns out they did urinate on the pitch.”