Aussies on beer ban during Ashes, says Harris

Updated: Feb 11, 2011, 10:49 AM IST

Sydney: Australia`s players were told not to drink alcohol during the recent Ashes series for fear they would become more susceptible to injury, according to fast bowler Ryan Harris.

A few beers in the dressing room after the day`s play has long been a tradition in Australian cricket but Harris said the attitude towards alcohol had now changed.

"Drinking now is seen as not great," Harris, who coincidentally suffered a stress fracture in his ankle during the series and was ruled out for up to four months, told Sydney`s Daily Telegraph.

"Guys are basically told not to drink. Heading into the Ashes it was said to them, `If you drink you put yourself at risk of injury and missing out`. When I came back into the one-day squad last year we were banned from drinking."

The Australia cricket team is sponsored by a brewery and local folklore has it that Test opener David Boon, now a selector, drank 52 cans of beer on a flight from Sydney to London in 1989. Boon has never confirmed the story.

Another tradition for Ashes tours was that the England and Australian teams would visit each other`s dressing rooms for a drink. That had also come to an end.

"It was all pretty serious, to be honest," he said. "When I was there we didn`t go into their dressing room and they didn`t go into ours. I was a little bit surprised we didn`t go in for a beer but it was a very big series and they were very serious."

Bureau Report