After Australia won the second Ashes Test by 43 runs to take a 2-0 lead in the series over the hosts, England skipper Ben Stokes weighed in on the controversial stumping of Jonny Bairstow, saying he would have “had a think about Spirt of Cricket” if he was in Australia’s shoes.
Bairstow was dismissed via a stumping just before lunch on the fifth day of the Ashes Test at Lord’s. At that stage, England had lost five wickets and needed 178 runs to win. Bairstow ducked under a short ball from Cameron Green, scratched the crease and began to walk towards his partner Stokes, who was at the non-striker’s end.
Just before Bairstow had left the crease Australia wicketkeeper Alex Carey had thrown the ball towards the stumps at the striker’s end in one motion after grabbing it. Initially, there was confusion as umpires Ahsan Raza and Chris Gaffaney sent the decision upstairs to TV umpire Marais Erasmus. The replays sealed Bairstow’s fate. However, what irked the home fans the England players was the fact that the Australians had refused to withdraw their appeal.
“At the end of the day, it was out. But if the shoe was on the other foot I would have had a think about the spirit of the game. We just have to move on,” Stokes, who scored 155 runs in the game with nine sixes and nine fours, said at the post-match interaction. Broad was pictured applauding sarcastically at Cummins and had an angry exchange with Australia’s Marnus Labuschagne and David Warner.
According to the Laws of the game, specifically Law 20.1.2, the ball was not dead. “The ball shall be considered to be dead when it is clear to the bowler’s end umpire that the fielding side and both batters at the wicket have ceased to regard it as in play.”
Following the dismissal, the England crowd reportedly chanted: “Same old Aussies, always cheating” and a clip of a confrontation in the Long Room between Usman Khawaja and a MCC member popped up on social media when the players had walked off at lunch.
Despite the furore, Australia captain Pat Cummins was nonchalant.
“Carey saw it happen previously, it’s in the Laws, totally fair play. That’s how I saw it,” he said at the end of the game.