ECB Threatens To Ban Future Tests Matches At Brisbane's Gabba
Cricket Australia officials "were thrown into a flap" Wednesday after the appearance of a story written by former England fast bowler Derek Pringle in the London Telegraph that the England and Wales Cricket Board "wanted Brisbane dropped from future Ashes itineraries as punishment for the boorish behaviour of Gabba spectators and the local media, especially in their treatment of paceman Stuart Broad," according to Wayne Smith of THE AUSTRALIAN. Pringle wrote, "Senior members of the England and Wales Cricket Board at the match were so astounded by the behaviour of Australia's supporters, in particular their puerile chants of 'Broad is a wanker,' that representations have been made to Cricket Australia about the possibility of not playing there on future tours." It quickly was established that relations between the ECB and CA "remain on a firm footing and that no official representations had been made about Brisbane's Ashes status." All indications are that while no official "representations" were made, ECB officials "were deeply unimpressed that a campaign run by the Brisbane-based newspaper, The Courier-Mail, disparaging Broad with the newspaper refusing to identify him by name in its match reports -- may have whipped up the Brisbane crowd." In the aftermath of the Gabba Test, the England team "banned Triple M for the remainder of the current Ashes tour after the radio station arranged for aircraft to tow banners over Brisbane" taunting its players (THE AUSTRALIAN, 12/5). In Melbourne, Barrett & Saltau reported further investigations "have revealed that the impetus for the complaint, however off the cuff, was a luncheon hosted by Brisbane Lord Mayor Graham Quirk in the Gabba Room during the first Test," at which England and Wales Cricket Board Chair Giles Clarke and his CA equivalent, Wally Edwards, were guests. Clarke "was affronted by a remark Quirk made about England's superstar batsman Kevin Pietersen, and felt the hospitality extended to the visiting team over the course of the match was not up to scratch." Quirk said, "We were going to give KP the keys to the city, but now we'll just give him the key to the back door." Clarke is said to have told Quirk he "was unhappy with the reception and, in particular, Quirk's gibe at Pietersen, which followed a tweet in which the England superstar referred to Brisbane as boring" (THE AGE, 12/5).