After England wicketkeeper, Jonny Bairstow tackled one protester and carried the person about 50 meters (yards) before leaving him in the hands of security over the boundary hoardings on Day 1 of the Lords Test, Australian opener David Warner and England bowler Josh Tongue reacted to the episode.
“We’d been warned beforehand that it might happen,” said Warner.
“We were actually told to stand away and be careful but we know what they’re trying to do to the wicket so it was about – not manhandling them like Jonny – but protecting it,” he added.
“I don’t know what that chalk does to the wicket but it would have been a long delay and we wouldn’t have wanted that,” he added.
— Ashwin (@ashwinravi99) June 28, 2023
Tongue on the other hand said Bairstow was a bit of a hero. “Bit of a hero, to be fair. If he didn’t stop him, they could’ve got on the pitch.”
“I didn’t see it at first, Jonny doing what he did, but who knows, the game could’ve been called off,” he added.
Two protesters from the Just Stop Oil group ran onto the field and briefly disrupted play about five minutes. The environmental activists tried to spread orange powder on the field but the England and Australia players intervened. Some orange powder was released but only on the grass, away from the pitch.
Bairstow went to the England changing room to clean himself of some powder, Lord’s staff quickly cleaned up what little orange fell on the grass, and play resumed about five minutes later.
Just Stop Oil protesters have disrupted other major sporting events in Britain this year. They held up the England team bus briefly during the test against Ireland in London this month, and have targeted Premier League soccer matches, the Premiership rugby final at Twickenham, and the world snooker championship in Sheffield.