Strauss laments 'naivety' in England squad after Bairstow-Bancroft headbutt

Andrew Strauss has demanded England's players sharpen up off the cricket field after they began the Ashes with a defeat in Brisbane and mired in a farcical controversy.

England's players are reported to have been subjected to a midnight curfew after wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow was forced to explain headbutting Australia opener Cameron Bancroft before the series started.

What had initially looked a serious story, following Ben Stokes' arrest in September for a brawl in Bristol, soon became somewhat more comical, with Bancroft confirming that Bairstow had butted heads with him strictly in what can only be classed as a bizarre attempt at bonding.

England's director of cricket, Strauss captained the successful 2010-11 team and has demanded greater professionalism from his side after falling 1-0 down in their attempt to retain the urn.

"They are intelligent adults, and at times they are not using that intelligence in the right way," Strauss said. "The last thing any of us want is to be in the news for the wrong reasons and I will clearly be reminding the players of their obligations. 

"These guys are not thugs. These are good, honest, hard-working cricketers who sacrifice a lot to play for England.

"They've done some great things in an England shirt and I will back them on that to the hilt because I know them. But the perception of them and the reality is different at the moment and we've got to take steps to make sure that reality is what people perceive of the England cricket team, not something different.

"I think there's a bit of naivety there [among the players] and I think we need to be smarter."


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