Ashes 2017: Moeen Ali tells England team-mates that off-field behaviour must improve

 
Ross McLean
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CA XI v England - Two Day Tour Match
Moeen Ali guided an England side to a draw in their tour match against a Cricket Australia XI (Source: Getty)

All-rounder Moeen Ali has called on his England team-mates to realise their responsibilities and end the flurry of night-time misdemeanours that have dominated their tour of Australia.

Batsman Ben Duckett has been suspended from playing for the England Lions while they remain Down Under after pouring a drink over senior bowler James Anderson in a Perth bar last week.

The Duckett affair came hot on the heels of the Jonny Bairstow ‘headbutt’ saga, which was another unwanted distraction for England who were still reeling from Ben Stokes’s arrest in September following an incident outside a Bristol nightclub.

Head coach Trevor Bayliss has already expressed his disappointment at the behaviour of some of his players, particularly given England trail Australia 2-0 in the battle for the Ashes with three Tests remaining.

“We’re all grown men and we should know how to behave,” said Moeen, who captained England during their drawn two-day clash with a Cricket Australia XI at Richardson Park. “The individual needs to be responsible for his own behaviour.

“As cricketers and professionals, the scrutiny that is on us – we have to be careful. It’s important we inspire the younger generation to take up the game. These things could possibly turn them away and that’s not what we want.

“Maybe the culture needs to change slightly. It’s not always easy. Guys are on tour for a very long time and they feel like they want to go out. But when you do go out you have to behave yourself.”

There is no suggestion that Anderson, who has played 131 Test matches and is England’s leading wicket-taker, did anything wrong prior to being doused in fluid by Duckett.

Moeen, who does not drink alcohol, added: “We’re playing for England, so we wear the England badge wherever we go. Times have changed. Players can’t do things that they would have in the past.

“I still believe you can enjoy yourself without drinking. I understand why people drink, but there’s a responsibility that comes with that.”

The latest controversy to engulf the England camp is likely to be music to Australia’s ears ahead of the third Test at Perth, which starts on Thursday.

England drew their tour match against Cricket Australia XI after the hosts declared their first innings on 151-4, 163 behind the tourists, who then batted for 20 overs and racked up 130-3. Cricket Australia XI closed on 269-9 in pursuit of 294 for victory.

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