Former Test wicketkeeper Ian Healy has labelled Australia’s rejection of a dressing-room beer with England as “unacceptable”.
He says they should have seized the chance to learn more about their opponents.
Jimmy Anderson revealed Australia opted against having a few pints with the opposition in Cardiff following their crushing defeat in the first Ashes Test.
Opinion has been split this week over “beer-gate”, with Peter Siddle mocking the England paceman and former Australian batsman Matthew Hayden calling him a “clown” with a history of making private dressing-room affairs public.
But Healy, who played 119 Tests for Australia between 1988 and 1999, said it wasn’t on for skipper Michael Clarke and his team to turn down an offer to “get in and learn your opposition”.
“It’s unacceptable if that’s what happened,” Healy told Sky Sports Radio on Thursday.
“We’re hearing stories that the teams aren’t talking that much which is unacceptable.
“The losing team should be all over the winning team at the end of a Test. Get in there and find out what is going on in that dressing room.”
In recent years, the practice has been for teams to share a drink at the end of a series but not during it.
Anderson noted England and New Zealand had shared drinks, regardless of results, following both matches in their drawn 1-1 Test series earlier this year.
Healy said everyone in the Australian squad should take some blame for what he saw as a bad decision.
“Senior players, coaching staff, they get so wrapped up in themselves and getting recovery done and all that sort of stuff,” he said.
“In a game of cricket, as soon as that hooter rings at the end of day five or day four as it was in Cardiff, it’s beer time.
“Don’t worry about recovery, we’ll do that tomorrow. Get in and learn your opposition.
“It might need to be examined what happened there.”