The Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) has suspended three members over altercations with the Australian team in Lord’s Long Room following Jonny Bairstow’s controversial stumping on the final day of the second Ashes Test. The MCC had earlier “unreservedly apologised” to the Australian team for the behaviour of some of its members, who allegedly verbally abused several visiting players as they made way to the dressing room at lunch on Sunday. Television footage showed openers Usman Khawaja and David Warner involved in a heated exchange with spectators in the Long Room, which is an area reserved only for MCC members and their guests.
Khawaja was pulled back by security guards. Warner was also seen making a comment to some of the members, with security forced to step in.
“Further to the earlier statement, MCC can confirm it has suspended three Members identified from earlier today. They will not be permitted back to Lord’s whilst the investigation takes place and were informed of this by MCC Chief Executive, Guy Lavender, this evening,” the MCC said in a statement late on Sunday.
The unpleasant exchange came after Bairstow’s dismissal, which took place half an hour before lunch.
Bairstow had ducked a slow bouncer and immediately left his crease to meet skipper Ben Stokes at the other end, thinking the ball was already “dead”.
However, wicketkeeper Alex Carey underarmed the ball into his stumps and the Australians celebrated. Bairstow was given out for 10 after a brief review.
While there is no doubt that Bairstow was out under the laws of the game, many including England coach Brendon McCullum and Stokes believe the dismissal was not in the spirit of the game.
After the dismissal, Australian team was booed and jeered with chants of “same old Aussies, always cheating” reverberating at the Lord’s.
“We maintain that the behaviour of a small number of Members was completely unacceptable and whilst there was no suggestion by Pat Cummins in the post-match press conference that there was any physical altercation, it remains wholly unacceptable to behave in such a way, which goes against the values of the Club.” “MCC condemns the behaviour witnessed and once again we re-iterate our apology to Cricket Australia,” the statement read.
Bairstow’s dismissal left Stokes as the lone recognised batter. The skipper played a knock for the ages, slamming an anger-fuelled 155 off 214 balls that was laced with nine sixes and as many fours.
However once he was out, England slumped to a 43-run loss. The hosts now trail the five-match series 0-2.
Khawaja condemns ‘disrespectful’ behaviour
Talking to Channel Nine about the incident after the match, a “disappointed” Khawaja slammed the disrespectful behaviour towards his team.
“Lord’s is one of my favourite places to come. There’s always respect shown at Lord’s, particularly in the Members Pavilion in the Long Room, but there wasn’t today. It was very disappointing.
“If anyone asked me where the best place is to play I always say Lord’s. The crowd is great, particularly the members are great, and some of the stuff that was coming out of the members’ mouths is really disappointing and I wasn’t just going stand by and cop it. So I just talked to a few of them.
“A few of them were throwing out some pretty big allegations and I just called them up on it and they kept going, and I was like, well, this is your membership here. So I’m just pointing them out. But it’s pretty disrespectful, to be honest. I just expect a lot better from the members.” PTI APA AT AT
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