Melbourne, Jan 18 (PTI) Photographs have emerged ofAustralian cricketers, Michael Clarke and Phillip Hughesdrinking at a Melbourne bar well into the night on the eve oftheir humiliating Ashes series defeat at the MCG.
According to media reports, the duo was spotted drinkingat the World Restaurant Bar on the third night of theMelbourne Test, which Australia went on to lose by an inningsand 157 runs to help England retain the Ashes on foreign soilfor the first time in 24 years.
The pictures have raised some serious questionspertaining to the professionalism and discipline of Aussiecricketers but Test vice-captain Michael Clarke has reiteratedthat he has done nothing wrong.
The 29-year-old has insisted that he would never doanything to jeopardise his performance.
"There''s no doubt Phillip and I went to a restaurant bar,we had dinner there, I had two drinks and didn''t have a latenight at all," Clarke said.
"We posed for a lot of photos with a lot of people, wewere polite to a lot of people and there were even a few ofthe Barmy Army there.
"I have absolutely no idea what time I got home, but Iguarantee you it wasn''t late," Clarke said.
The batsman then admitted to leaving the restaurant to goto the casino to meet up with Michael Slater for some advice,because he "wasn''t scoring as many runs as (he) would haveliked."
A 25-year-old Melbourne woman, Emily Goodyear, hadearlier claimed that the duo seemed to have no regrets andtold her "it doesn''t matter that we are out, we''ve lost thematch anyway."
The lady had even clicked pictures of the cricketers andhad also offered media outlets a photo of her with thecricketers in return for a cash payment.
The Cricket Australia (CA) has however deposed faith inthe cricketers and has said that there was no problem with thebehaviour of the players.
"It''s unrealistic to expect people to spend 220 days ormore a year eating hotel room service and living their livesas if they''re on a Sunday school picnic," said CricketAustralia''s general manager of public affairs, Peter Young.