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The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) have provisionally suspended Ben Duckett after he allegedly poured a drink over pace bowler James Anderson’s head.
Duckett was supposed to play for England in their two-day tour match against a Cricket Australia XI on Saturday, but he was pulled from the team and replaced by Worcestershire’s Joe Clarke.
The incident occurred during a night out, but there will be no police investigation. Furthermore, members of England’s security team were with the players at the time.
However, given it follows so soon after Ben Stokes’ alleged involvement in a street fight outside a nightclub in Bristol and Jonny Bairstow headbutting Australia opener Cameron Bancroft, England head coach Trevor Bayliss was understandably fuming.
“I think that was the issue,” Bayliss said when asked why Duckett was withdrawn from the tour match squad. “It was nothing to do with any people outside the squad. Boys being boys, I suppose, but totally unacceptable.
“There will be an investigation into that. Andy Flower, the Lions coach, will be dealing with his player. It was after midnight and some of our first team were there, which I allowed to happen.
“We said no curfews that night, we let them off, so they were not breaking any rules from that point of view.”
He added: “I think it is fairly trivial but in the current climate it is just not acceptable. Everyone has been warned that even small things can be blown out of proportion.
“Most of the guys are fine. Somewhere along the line, some guys have got to pull their head in.”
When asked if any action will be taken against Duckett, Bayliss said: “First of all, we have got to find out exactly what happened. That investigation will go ahead in the next 24 hours.
“Andy will look after his player and, if anything needs to be said or done with the first team, we’ll handle that. I’m not sure what more I can say to the players. I’m sure there will be some stern words from above.”
Bayliss conceded that he is getting increasingly frustrated at having to defend players after late-night incidents.
“I’m here to coach the team and I end up spending most of the time trying to explain behaviour that the boys have been warned about,” he said.