The House of Payne - Wee-gate at the Oval looks set to dry up and come up smelling of roses (From Richmond and Twickenham Times)
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The House of Payne - Wee-gate at the Oval looks set to dry up and come up smelling of roses
Thank goodness cricket’s wee-gate doesn’t look like a story that’s going to run.
England’s players apologised to Surrey CCC on Wednesday for taking their celebrations on The Oval pitch too far after securing the Ashes on Sunday.
They will be hoping the apology puts a lid on a story that must leave most people scratching their heads and wondering how on earth it came to pass in the first place.
Who on earth decided a moon-lit cricket pitch was the best place to party hours after the drinking had started?
When nature inevitably came calling the players would have been constantly going to and from the pavilion – dare I say a little bit like Australian batsmen.
This latest incident can hardly be described as a flash in the pan. Eight years ago, it was the garden at 10 Downing Street that came in for extra watering after England reclaimed the Ashes after 18 years in Australian hands.
To be fair, the story would have fallen totally into the ‘so what’ category without the sanctimonious comments of Surrey chief executive Richard Gould and Australian leg-spinning legend Shane Warne.
The fact Warne could describe anything as "crass" given much of his behaviour throughout his cricket career, should really render his views on the subject obsolete.
Glasshouses: Is Shane Warne the right man to comment on 'wee-gate'?
But it was Gould’s quotes that seemed almost designed to get the players, including his own club’s Kevin Pietersen, into trouble, saying the club had spoken to the ECB who were looking into the matter.
Surely Surrey officials could have decided having a group of boozy blokes on the wicket was never going to be a great idea?
Of course, the people happiest with the story are the Australians as it overshadows their biggest Ashes humbling since 1978-79.
And I suspect some of the suits that run the sport would rather see the reputation of a few England players go down the pan than have too many questions asked about this summer’s DRS farce and the farcical end to the fifth Test.
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