Perth - England were dismissed as "tourists
masquerading as cricketers" by Australia's media which turned the screw on
Monday after Ben Duckett was fined for pouring beer over team-mate Jimmy
Duckett was slapped with a reported £1 500 fine and will
play no further part in the remaining England Lions matches following the
late-night bar prank in Perth on Thursday.
It plunged their already difficult tour into another crisis
after wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow headbutted Australian test opener Cameron
Bancroft in a Perth bar during the tourists' first night in Australia.
That followed star all-rounder Ben Stokes being suspended
from the Ashes campaign after an incident outside a Bristol nightclub in
September that led to police investigations.
England have so far lost the opening two tests and have
their work cut out in the third this week at Perth's WACA Ground, where they
have not beaten Australia since 1978.
"These English Contiki tourists masquerading as
cricketers are about to seal their places in Ashes infamy," Sydney Daily
Telegraph said on its back page.
Contiki is a tour company that caters for younger travellers
and has earned a reputation for attracting the booze-filled party crowd.
The Telegraph stuck the knife in further with a blazing
headline "Perthetic", adding: "Tour degenerates into farce as
rudderless Poms face whitewash."
The Sydney Morning Herald also jumped on the bandwagon,
screaming "Teetering on the drink" on its back page in a story that
said their Ashes campaign was "again in disarray".
"It is the third time in four months that England's
preparations have been derailed by an alcohol-fuelled incident," it wrote.
Earlier in the tour, England cricket chief Andrew Strauss
insisted there was no drinking culture in the team, but he still slapped a
midnight curfew on the Ashes tour.
The Duckett incident happened on the first night that the
curfew had been relaxed.
The Australian newspaper spared England some of the more
strident criticism dished out by other media, and instead ran a story
highlighting the drinking on England's 1986-87 tour to Australia.
That side featured the likes of Ian Botham, Allan Lamb and
David Gower, who enjoyed a tipple, but they still won the series, and without a
"Mike Gatting's squad got the job done, winning 2-1
against Allan Border's side while burning the candle at both ends," the
newspaper said, suggesting that currently England "do not have the troops
to hang onto the Ashes urn".
While Australia's media made the most of England's problems,
coach Darren Lehmann played a much straighter bat on Sunday, saying the
alcohol-fuelled indiscretions were no laughing matter.
"I've been through all that, so no, I don't have a
chuckle at that," he told reporters.
"You have those situations at various stages throughout
your career. It's not funny.
"It's a case of actually making sure you're trying the
best you can to get your side prepared. For me, I don't have a chuckle at any