Melbourne, Jan.18: Australian cricketers Michael Clarke and Phil Hughes were ''out on the town'' drinking the night before Australia lost the Ashes on home soil.
The Telegraph quoted witnesses as claiming that they saw Clarke and Hughes drinking at a Melbourne bar well into the night on the eve of their humiliating Ashes series defeat at the MCG.
A photo has emerged of the cricketers posing with fans at The World Restaurant and Bar in Southbank, reportedly taken just 12 hours before the Australian team took to the field on the fourth and final day of the Boxing Day Test.
The thrashing led to England retaining the Ashes on Australian soil for the first time in 24 years.
A witness, Paul, told radio 3AW today that he left the bar about 11.30 p.m. Australia''s vice-captain Clarke and rookie Hughes were still "well and truly going at that stage", he said.
"I asked [Hughes] why he was out on the town and he basically told me the game was over, he had done his job and it was time to get on it," Paul claimed.
"He didn''t [have to bat the following day] but he was still there representing the country and the attitude, he basically told me that he was there to take the cash, that''s why he was there."
It follows allegations by Melbourne-based Englishwoman Emily Goodyear in a British newspaper that the pair drank vodka with her and criticized their "boring" teammates for not going out drinking with them.
"They said, "It doesn't matter that we're out, we've lost the match anyway," the 25-year-old told The Sunday People.
Former Australian cricketer Dean Jones told 3AW it was unusual to see elite sports stars having a few drinks in the middle of competition.
"I think that''s half the problem with the culture of the actual team at the moment, why it''s struggling. It''s almost imploding on itself in certain areas whereby some of them are crying out for help and need advice and they''re not getting it," he said.
He said Cricket Australia was concerned that cricketers were more worried about their "celebrity status and sitting worrying about how they look instead of going out there and making runs".