7 Aug 2015

Call for investigation after Ashes capitulation

4:25 pm on 7 August 2015

The former Australian wicketkeeper Ian Healy says Cricket Australia must investigate what was behind the side's Ashes collapse, after controversially pointing the finger at the presence of players' partners.

England needed only 111 balls to dismiss the Australians for just 60 in the opening innings of the fourth Test in Cardiff and are on the brink of wrapping up an Ashes series victory.

Healy who is now a television commentaor questioned whether the team was playing as a unit.

He also caused a stir by suggesting having wives and girlfriends in England might be partly to blame.

"All their partners are here and some of the most respected cricketers I played with hated that distraction," Healy said.

"They weren't allowed on tour until after the series had been won," he said.

"Your mind needs to be completely focused on it. Cricket is a sport that requires complete concentration. You need everything going for you and I'm not sure they're pushing for that hard enough."

Later on local radio he said the Australian batsmen had lost their technique.

"I don't think they are playing like a cohesive unit that love each other," he said.

Ian Healy (right) during his playing days.

Ian Healy (right) during his playing days. Photo: Photosport

"I don't think there was enough heart in that performance, there definitely wasn't enough technique, there definitely wasn't enough grit to stick it out.

"There will be an investigation into this for sure, Cricket Australia have really got to investigate what's in that dressing room."

A disgruntled Michael Clarke leaves the field at Trent Bridge.

A disgruntled Michael Clarke leaves the field at Trent Bridge. Photo: Photosport

Healy said he spent time with coach Darren Lehmann after the day's play, and that he was at a loss to explain the capitulation.

"He sat in the dressing room for some time, didn't come home with the team ... all he could spit out was `111 balls'. He couldn't say anymore."

Georgina Dent, editor of website Women's Agenda, said laying blame on the WAGS was "scraping the barrel".

"I reckon if there's any group in Australia as closely invested in the national cricket team's performance as the players themselves, it's the wives and girlfriends of the players," she wrote in an editorial.