Ashes 2021: MCG condemned as ‘un-Australian’ after banning fans from skolling beer at Boxing Day Test

Bob Hawke was able to school an 11-second beer and was cheered on by the crowds when he defeated one at the 2012 Sydney Test.

But if he had done the same at the Boxing Day test at MCG this year, chances are he would have been knocked out.

Watch the Sunrise panel debate the ban in the video above

Many tried to live up to the former prime minister’s famous talent during the short two-and-a-bit days of play, with Australia overthrowing England to win the Ashes, but security and Victoria Police got the final laugh.

Beer hose was also quickly dismantled.

The harsh action has been branded as embarrassing by people on social media, with many questioning what Mr Hawke would have thought.

Some jokingly suggested that beer cup hoses be banned because they would put cleaners out of work, while others questioned how fast it was too fast to finish a beer.

Some called exposing people to scalding medium-strength beer un-Australian and an excessive reach.

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State opposition leader Matthew Guy was among the critics.

“If it was good enough for former Prime Minister Bob Hawke to get a beer on cricket, then let’s not go over the top (with rules),” he said on Tuesday.

He said the Victorians have had such a tough two years that they should be allowed to have some fun.

“If it’s a beer or two for school, good luck to them,” he said.

“I’m an elementary school boy, I think it’s a great thing to do sometimes.”

Victoria Police respond

In a statement, Victoria Police said they often receive reports of drunk people behaving offensively and affecting the enjoyment of others.

“Alcohol rinsing is associated with intoxication and disruptive behavior, which can lead to other public order problems,” they said.

“We have a strong focus on responsible alcohol consumption to ensure that all patrons are able to enjoy cricket safely.”

7NEWS Melbourne’s Nick McCallum, who covered the Boxing Day Test at MCG this week, said families for cricket and football deserve protection from intoxicated fans.

But he believes police can use their discretion without the need for a harsh ban on one act.

Fans cheer on a man's attempt to school a beer.
Fans cheer on a man’s attempt to school a beer. Credit: AAP

“I was actually young once and I used to go to cricket and I’m not against the old school, let me tell you,” he said on Sunrise.

“I do not think there is anything wrong with attending school by cricket or elsewhere as long as your behavior remains appropriate.

“My experience with cricket and football is usually not thrown out just for scolling, it is the behavior before, during and after that makes them thrown out, especially in family areas.

“I think the police need to monitor the situation. Usually, schooling is a symptom that something else is going on that is antisocial, and we have to accept in this world that you need to be able to take your family to cricket.

“You have to feel comfortable. If someone behaves a bit like a villain, skolling is part of what they have to go and leave cricket.”


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