Ashes: Aussies party hearty while England wallow in misery

Australian players partied until the early hours of Monday morning as they celebrated their Ashes triumph.

In contrast, the English team were ridiculed by some of its greatest players after their 5-0 Ashes series ended with a three-day capitulation at the SCG on Sunday. The Australian team stayed at the venue until after midnight with most of the players still dressed in their cricket whites and some wearing their baggy green caps as they made their way back to the team hotel at Quay West in Circular Quay.

While undoubtedly some of his teammates were nursing sore heads on Monday, opening batsman David Warner lent support to his ironwoman girlfriend Candice Falzon while she participated in a tennis promotion alongside Australian tour prop Marinko Matosevic at the Sydney International at Sydney Olympic Park.

Warner was up bright and early. The opening batsman made it out west by around 9.30am to join Falzon as well as beach volleyballer Kerri Pottharst alongside professionals Marinko Matosevic and Yaroslava Shvedova in a kids' tennis day "Wreck it or Racquet" challenge.

As the Australians had cause for celebrating their Ashes clean sweep, England's 281-run fifth Test loss has been met with heavy criticism by the likes of Ian Botham, Michael Vaughan and Geoffrey Boycott.

Botham said the team was “spineless” while Vaughan called them “pathetic”.

Boycott described the final Test as “The worst defeat, because it's happened in three days. We just collapsed. We almost gave up," wrote Boycott in a column.

"I'll put it in context. This has been embarrassing, because I can't remember a series where England have played so poorly and batted so badly.”

Former captain Vaughan told the BBC: “I have never seen an England team throw in the towel, but they did.

"(Coach) Andy Flower has not evolved this team as he should have done. Things have to change in personnel and things have to change in terms of how they play their cricket."

Botham, on Sky Sports, added: "England have been steamrollered. If it had been a boxing match it would have been stopped weeks ago".

Cook did find support from ex-teammate Paul Collingwood who said Cook and Flower should retain their positions.

“I'm sure this has hurt a lot but you've got to move on and have that determination to put things right for the future.' What Andy Flower has done for English cricket has been incredible. He's a real leader and certainly the man I would have at the top to take England forward.”

England coach Andy Flower, who reaffirmed he would not be standing down, has admitted the team needed to change dramatically to turn its fortunes around.

Asked directly whether besieged star batsman Kevin Pietersen would be part of the future, Flower said: "This will be a new start, and so it should be. It does feel like the end of some type of era. We might have to take a little more pain before we have sustained success again.

"And we might have to ask for a little patience in that regard over the coming months."

England have five months before they host Sri Lanka for a two-Test series, by which time a full review into the Australian debacle will have been completed.

One thing is certain - Flower has no intention of walking away from his post, and he believes Alastair Cook is the right man as captain to lead England out of their funk.

"I'm not going to discuss individuals, but looking at it a little more holistically, I think it will be the start of something new," Flower said. "I think Alastair Cook as captain can lead that renewal and rebuilding [of] the England cricket side. We're not proud of [the Sydney Test]. And we're not proud of the Test series result, of course. It's quite a bitter pill to swallow. [Australia] have been aggressive and disciplined and completely outplayed us."

The Australian team will continue its celebration with an appearance at the Sydney Opera House on Tuesday from 11am.

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