Ashes: Ben Stokes accuses Australia of forgetting ‘spirit of the game’ after stumping Jonny Bairstow


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Ben Stokes accuses Australia of forgetting ‘the spirit of the game’ in controversial Jonny Bairstow stumping – and claims England wouldn’t have done the same after painful Ashes defeat at Lord’s

  • Ben Stokes was unhappy with Australia’s dismissal of Jonny Bairstow at Lord’s
  • Bairstow was unconventionally stumped by Australia wicket keeper Alex Carey
  • Stokes questioned whether Australia had considered the ‘spirit of the game’ 

Ben Stokes has questioned Australia‘s dismissal of Jonny Bairstow on the final day of the second Ashes Test at Lord’s – and insisted England would not have done the same in such a situation.

Boos and angry chants rang around the usually mild Lord’s ground during England’s final innings after Bairstow was unconventionally stumped by Aussie wicket keeper Alex Carey.

Bairstow had left his crease thinking it was the end of the over before Carey took the bails off with a throw from behind that technically meant the England batsman was out stumped.

Australia captain Pat Cummins refused to withdraw the appeal and Bairstow had to go in a huge blow to England’s hopes of sealing what would have been one of cricket’s greatest-ever run chases, with boos quickly following alongside chants of ‘same old Aussies – always cheating’.

Tempers then boiled over in the famous Long Room at Lord’s as members of the club vented at Australia’s players heading to their changing room and a confrontation involving Usman Khawaja and David Warner forced the MCC to apologise.

England captain Ben Stokes (left) was unhappy with Australia's stumping of Jonny Bairstow

England captain Ben Stokes (left) was unhappy with Australia’s stumping of Jonny Bairstow

Jonny Bairstow (middle) was controversially stumped by Australia wicket keeper Alex Carey

Jonny Bairstow (middle) was controversially stumped by Australia wicket keeper Alex Carey

England captain Stokes was at the crease with Bairstow when the incident happened and even though he admitted ‘out’ was the right call, the all-rounder slammed Australia for not considering the ‘spirit of the game’.

Speaking to Sky Sports after the second Test, Stokes explained: ‘For me I was asking the umpires if they had said ‘over’ and they said ‘no’ but the square leg umpire and the standing umpire made the movements towards it being over. 

‘Look, at the end of the day, it’s out. I think if the shoe was on the other foot I would probably just have to have a little think around the whole spirit of the game and things like that. 

‘It’s happened, it’s out but we have to move on and see what is in front of us,’ he added.

The 32-year-old all-rounder was encouraged by England supporters who had stayed behind after the game to watch the interview and shouted their agreement from the stands.

However, Australia skipper unsurprisingly Cummins hit back at claims of unfair play and insisted he was in full support of his wicketkeeper’s actions.

Cummins instead placed the blame on Bairstow for not recognising the situation and insisted the Englishman had began walking out of his crease a few deliveries earlier.  

‘I think Carey saw it happening a few balls previously. There’s no pause, you catch it and have a throw,’ he said.

Bairstow was bemused after being dismissed on the final day at Lord's on Sunday

Bairstow was bemused after being dismissed on the final day at Lord’s on Sunday

Stokes insisted that Australia didn't consider the 'spirit of the game' by taking the wicket

Stokes insisted that Australia didn’t consider the ‘spirit of the game’ by taking the wicket

‘I thought it was totally fair play. 

‘That’s how the rule is – I know some people might disagree a lot.’

Former England ODI captain Eoin Morgan sided with Cummins and labelled Bairstow as naive: ‘I don’t see it compromising the spirit of the game. 

‘He (Bairstow) was just being naive, it was almost like he was batting in his own bubble,’ he added.

Stokes and England will have a chance at redemption when they resume battle at Headingley on Thursday. 


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