Ashes: ECB backs Stuart Broad, Kevin Pietersen and Jonny Bairstow over Adelaide night out
Last Updated: 03/12/13 2:33pm
Stuart Broad, Kevin Pietersen and Jonny Bairstow did not break team protocols by going for a night out in Adelaide, the ECB has said.
The England trio were pictured in the Zhivago nightclub late on Sunday evening before preparations began in earnest for the second Test, which England go into 1-0 down in the five-match series.
The story was seized on by the Australian media, with the players coming under fire for being out on the town despite their hammering in Brisbane.
The Sydney Daily Telegraph splashed the story on its front and back pages Tuesday.
"The Poms can't handle a sledge but they sure can handle a drink," it said. "The late-night drinking session is hardly ideal preparation just two days out from the vital second Test at Adelaide Oval."
But a team spokeswoman said: "They are free to do as they please - they are grown men. There has been no breach of team protocol."
Broad and Pietersen were given a rest for the two-day match against a Cricket Australia Chairman's XI in Alice Springs, which finished on Saturday.
They embarked on their night out after arriving in Adelaide from Australia's red centre, where their flight south was delayed by three-and-a-half hours.
Adelaide's Telegraph newspaper reported: "Ashes villains Kevin Pietersen and Stuart Broad have hit Adelaide's bars - instead of the nets - with a vengeance, despite being belted by Australia in Brisbane's Ashes opener.
"Having rested during England's weekend tour match in Alice Springs, superstars Pietersen and Broad kicked up their heels to the wee hours on Monday morning at city club Zhivago, on Currie St.
"The Poms were rolled by 381 runs at the Gabba but Broad and Pietersen enjoyed a liquid preparation four days ahead of the Test.
"The late-night tipple might incur a raised eyebrow from England coach and former South Australian batsman Andy Flower, a noted stickler for discipline and immaculate preparation."
England fast bowler Tim Bresnan, who has been recalled to the Ashes squad after battling back from injury, denied the drinking session looked bad.
"I don't understand why it should be," he said. "They are grown men, they've not broken any rules as far we're concerned.
"We have quite relaxed rules within the team and anyone who breaks those is dealt with accordingly. But they've broken no rules so I don't know why it should be an issue."
Watch the second Ashes Test between Australia and England from Adelaide - coverage starts on Wednesday at 11pm on Sky Sports 2 HD