Aus cricketers meet England coach Hodgson

Darren Lehmann walks into a stadium alongside Roy Hodgson, coach of England’s football side.


It sounds an awful lot like the beginning of a joke at the expense of Australia’s vanquished Ashes squad.

But it’s exactly what happened in London on Tuesday, when Hodgson took time away from plotting England’s Euro 2016 campaign to visit The Oval.

Hodgson wasn’t called in to deliver a motivational pep talk, he was there to catch up with Australia’s team doctor Peter Brukner.

Hodgson and Brukner used to work alongside each other at English Premier League club Liverpool.

Hodgson mingled with Australian players after Tuesday’s training session, their last major hit-out before the fifth Ashes Test starts on Thursday.

Retiring opener Chris Rogers described it as one of the perks of being a Test cricketer.

“I got a chance to have a good chat with him and he was a lovely guy,” Rogers said.

“He talked about watching county cricket in the 1950s, so he’s got a fair bit of history there.

“I’ve been over here a long time and I like watching the football — particularly how England go out in the big tournaments.”

England haven’t won a major international football tournament since the 1966 World Cup.

Hodgson hung around to watch Alastair Cook and his teammates’ football scratch match, which they use to warm-up before training and games.

“I was impressed,” Hodgson told the ECB website.

“Theres no doubt that the standard was quite good but I knew it would be.

“I had a chance to have a few words before they started and congratulated them.

“I’ve been watching the cricket with not only great interest but with great pride and I think England have played remarkably well.”