- England have reacted to a second crushing Ashes defeat by relaxing curfews
- Joe Root’s side were allowed to stay out later than midnight in Adelaide
- All but one of the beaten second Test team have been given the weekend off
- England will field a second-string team against a Cricket Australia XI in Perth
England reacted to a second crushing Ashes defeat by relaxing curfews and giving all but one of the beaten second Test team a weekend off while they play a practice game in Perth.
Joe Root’s side were allowed to stay out later than midnight in Adelaide on Wednesday after their 120-run defeat, with England now deciding to ease rules brought in after Jonny Bairstow was accused of ‘head-butting’ Australia’s Cameron Bancroft in an incident that happened at the start of England’s tour but did not come to light until he was sledged in Brisbane.
And a spokesman confirmed there will be more nights when the players will be given permission to burn the midnight oil.
Andrew Strauss (right) has taken the decision to relax the curfews handed to England’s squad
Senior players had been unhappy they were being penalised here even though England had cleared Bairstow of doing anything wrong. So Andrew Strauss, enduring his most difficult time as team director, did something of a U-turn.
The sympathetic attitude extends to the pitch where England will field a second-string team against a Cricket Australia XI on Saturday.
Moeen Ali, after a terrible start to the tour, will play and captain an England side for the first time as he tries to get more bowling under his belt.
Moeen has been struggling after a side strain kept him out of the first two warm-up games and he then cut the spinning finger on his right hand so badly in the first Test in Brisbane it has hindered him ever since.
Rules were put in place after Jonny Bairstow was accused of ‘head-butting’ Cameron Bancroft
Moeen Ali will play and captain an England side for the first time against a Cricket Australia XI
England squad v Cricket Australia XI in Perth
Moeen Ali, Jake Ball, Gary Ballance, Mason Crane, Tom Curran, Ben Duckett, Ben Foakes, Keaton Jennings, Dan Lawrence, Jack Leach, Liam Livingstone and Mark Wood
England will field those in the Test squad who were not involved in Adelaide — Jake Ball, Gary Ballance, Mason Crane, Tom Curran and Ben Foakes — and will make up the rest of the 12-man squad with Lions players.
That will give opportunities to — among others — Mark Wood, Keaton Jennings, Ben Duckett and Liam Livingstone.
But England coach Trevor Bayliss has already suggested he will name an unchanged team for the third Test.