England have needed to manage a minor migraine far from the Jimmy Anderson v Ravindra Jadeja scuffle because of a rambunctious night out from Gary Ballance in Nottingham at the finish of the first Test.
Pictures of Ballance in a topless state with a bear can in hand was splashed all over the British newspapers but ECB has decided that a warning is enough for the talented batsman, who scored a gritty 71 runs in the first Test against India at Trent Bridge.
Ballance was joined by Yorkshire team-mates Liam Plunkett and Joe Root and Lancashire’s Jimmy Anderson. “They had to carry him out at the end of the night,” an eye-witness was quoted as saying. “He was standing outside with his top off screaming ‘England! England! England!”
Moores said: “As the players had been released at the end of the first Test and were not due to meet up to begin preparations for the second Test until Monday evening, and there were no suggestions of impropriety there is no need for any disciplinary action. I will however be reminding all players of their responsibilities to uphold the best possible image for England cricket.” Moores added, “I will however be reminding all players of their responsibilities to uphold the best possible image for England cricket.”
Earlier, England captain Alastair Cook accused India of trying to get Anderson banned. Cook labelled the affair a ‘big mountain out of a molehill’ but India skipper MS Dhoni insisted Anderson had committed a serious offence as relations between the sides worsened ahead of today’s second Investec Test at Lord’s.
Another eyewitness said:”A song came on and he clearly enjoyed it so he removed his top.” One report, in student newspaper website The Tab reported that Ballance was accompanied by controversial speedster James Anderson, Joe Root and Liam Plunkett.
The England and Wales Cricket Board confirmed that other England cricketers were present at the venue, but did not reveal their identities. Media reports suggested that James Anderson, Joe Root and Liam Plunkett were with Ballance.
If Root was indeed present, this would not be the first time he was involved in a late-night alcohol-fuelled incident, given his altercation with David Warner, at a bar in Birmingham during the Champions Trophy last year.
The fact that England’s players were given the night off on Sunday, and day off on Monday, meant that Ballance had not broken either a team curfew or any written or unwritten rules over consumption of alcohol.