sport

ECB backing for Broad and KP

Stuart Broad and Kevin Pietersen did not break team protocols by going for a night out in Adelaide, the ECB has said.

Broad and Pietersen were pictured - reportedly in the Zhivago nightclub - late on Sunday evening before preparations begin in earnest for the second Test, which England go into 1-0 down in the five-match series.

The story was seized on by the Australian media, with the players coming under fire for being out on the town despite their hammering in Brisbane.

But a team spokeswoman said: "They are free to do as they please - they are grown men. There has been no breach of team protocol."

Broad and Pietersen were given a rest for the two-day match against a Cricket Australia Chairman's XI in Alice Springs, which finished on Saturday.

They embarked on their night out after arriving in Adelaide from Australia's red centre, where their flight south was delayed by three-and-a-half hours.

England's first official practice session before the second Test is due to take place at the Adelaide Oval on Tuesday afternoon.

Adelaide's Telegraph newspaper reported: "Ashes villains Kevin Pietersen and Stuart Broad have hit Adelaide's bars - instead of the nets - with a vengeance, despite being belted by Australia in Brisbane's Ashes opener.

"Having rested during England's weekend tour match in Alice Springs, superstars Pietersen and Broad kicked up their heels to the wee hours on Monday morning at city club Zhivago., on Currie St.

"The Poms were rolled by 381 runs at the Gabba but Broad and Pietersen enjoyed a liquid preparation four days ahead of the Test.

"The late-night tipple might incur a raised eyebrow from England coach and former South Australian batsman Andy Flower, a noted stickler for discipline and immaculate preparation."