Bairstow's controversial dismissal sends Lord's into revolt
July 3, 2023 12:22 PM
Marylebone Cricket Club said three members had been suspended after Jonny Bairstow's controversial dismissal in the second Ashes Test at Lord's on Sunday sent the crowd into an unprecedented rage, with Australia players abused by spectators in the famous Pavilion Long Room.
Bairstow was given out when Australia wicketkeeper Alex Carey threw the ball at the stumps after the England batsman walked out of his crease after ducking under a Cameron Green bouncer.
There was confusion in the middle, Bairstow seemingly believing the ball was dead at the end of the over, but Australia were happy to proceed with a deeply divisive appeal.
The umpires sent the decision upstairs for review by TV umpire Marais Erasmus, who had no option but to confirm Bairstow's stumping dismissal.
Bairstow was livid and the usually sedate Lord's crowd responded by chanting "Same old Aussies always cheating" while booing rang around the famous old arena for several minutes.
England's Stuart Broad, the batsman who came in after Bairstow's exit, immediately let his frustrations show as the stump microphone caught him telling Carey: "That's all you'll ever be remembered for that."
Broad also told Australia captain Pat Cummins: "That's the worst thing I've ever seen in cricket".
Veteran paceman Broad mockingly tapped his bat in his crease after each delivery to ensure he didn't depart the same way as Bairstow.
A bitter row about the 'spirit of cricket' was underway, with furious fans chanting "cheats" and England's players clearly angry Australia did not withdraw their appeal on grounds of fair play.
Members in the Lord's Pavilion, the most exclusive part of the ground, confronted the Australia team as they walked through the historic Long Room to get to their dressing room at lunch.
Australia batsmen David Warner and Usman Khawaja were seen stopping to speak to members who were booing before stewards stepped in to usher the players away.
- 'Verbally abused' -
A Cricket Australia spokesman called on MCC to investigate allegations their players were "verbally abused, with some being physically contacted".
Cummins admitted it had been a hostile atmosphere in the normally refined environment of the Long Room.
"The crowd made themselves known in the Long Room and in the stands. The MCC apologised for the behaviour for some of the members," he said.
"They were quite aggressive and abusive towards some of our players, which the MCC weren't too happy with...The members here are normally very welcoming."
Apologising for the incident, MCC said: "After this morning's play, emotions were running high, and words were unfortunately exchanged with some of the Australian team, by a small number of members.
"We have unreservedly apologised to the Australian team and will deal with any member who has not maintained the standard we expect through our disciplinary processes."
MCC secretary and chief executive Guy Lavender later issued an email to the club's 18,000 strong mass membership where he said the three members "directly involved" had been identified.
"I have written to each of them this evening to advise that their membership rights have been suspended with immediate effect, pending an investigation," he added.
"At the post-match press conference, the captain of the Australian team (Cummins) gave no suggestion that there was any physical altercation," Lavender said.
Relations between the two sides were already fraught with the Australians left fuming on Saturday when Mitchell Starc thought he had caught opener Ben Duckett, only to see the dismissal overturned as the ball hit the ground.
Following Bairstow's exit, England captain Ben Stokes smashed 155 to give his side hope of a stunning victory.
But Australia eventually won by 43 runs to take a 2-0 lead in the five-match series as they bid to retain the Ashes.