England cricketer accused coaching staff of fat-shaming as shambolic Ashes tour prep laid bare 3 months ago

England cricketer accused coaching staff of fat-shaming as shambolic Ashes tour prep laid bare

Every aspect of England's tour down under was a disaster

One England cricketer refused to take part in a 'skin-fold' test - a way of measuring body fat percentage - during the 4-0 humiliation in Australia this winter, accusing the staff of fat-shaming, the Telegraph reports in expose on a shambolic Ashes tour.

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This was just one problematic element of a tour that was doomed from the beginning due to sub-par preparation, and hindered throughout by power struggles, a lack of forethought, bad decision making and inept man-management.

It has not been revealed which player refused to take part in the skin-fold test, but it is indicative of a cricketing culture which has not learned from the past; in 2020, former England all-rounder Andrew 'Freddie' Flintoff opened up about his struggles with bulimia throughout his playing career.

This unfortunate episode was just one of many that tarnished the winter tour of Australia. Having been cooped up in bubbles for nigh-on two years now, mostly playing non-stop cricket, it is reported that some players lost their patience when asked to do a more invasive Covid-19 test than the standard PCR procedure.

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Due to the fact the clinics were unable to turn around a PCR test in time for the Sydney Test, players were asked to endure one that involved a swab going up the nose and down the back of the throat in one go. Some players accepted they would have to do this less pleasant test, but refused to put their families through the same procedure.

The Telegraph described what followed as the 'biggest row between players and management of the whole tour', which was only resolved by a return to PCR testing.

Tactical issues were aplenty too, the most obvious coming before the first ball of the series (which got Rory Burns out), when Joe Root elected to bat first on a green pitch ripe for his own seamers, especially veteran bowlers Stuart Broad and Jimmy Anderson, who were both left out.

The idea was to save them for the pink ball day-night Test in Adelaide, by which point England were already 1-0 down.

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Misuse of Jack Leach's abilities, which led to a confidence crisis, and Ollie Robinson's fitness issues were also matters of concern.

It is reported that, during England's day off in Hobart, Robinson played golf despite nursing a shoulder problem. He declared himself fit on the morning of Day One before going down with a back spasm.

Both Root's position as captain and Chris Silverwood's position as head coach are under severe scrutiny following the 4-0 drubbing, but it seems as though a lot more will have to change if England are to avoid a similar fate in their next tour down under.