Jonny Bairstow’s controversial dismissal in the second Ashes Test sent the Lord’s crowd into an unprecedented rage as Australian players were 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 shouted at Australia captain Pat Cummins, ranting: “That’s the worst thing I’ve ever seen in cricket.”
The England pace bowler kept up his barrage as he exchanged angry words with Australian fielders and 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 prestigious stand in the stadium, confronted the Australian 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.
“Australian management has requested the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) investigate several incidents involving spectators in the members area during lunch on day five of the Lord’s Test,” a Cricket Australia spokesman said.
“It is alleged players and staff from the Australian team were verbally abused, with some being physically contacted, as they made their way to lunch through the members area.”
Apologising for the incident, the 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.
“It was not necessary to eject anyone from the ground and I am pleased to say that there was no repeat of this as the players resumed the field for this afternoon’s session.”
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.
Starc held a low catch only to ground the ball while still sliding on the turf.
Under cricket’s laws, a catch is only completed when the fielder has “complete control over the ball and his/her own movement” and cannot touch the ground before then if a dismissal is to be completed.
The on-field umpires referred the decision to Erasmus, with the TV official ruling in Duckett’s favour.
The Australians may rue the manner of Bairstow’s dismissal as it provoked England captain Ben Stokes.
He went on the rampage, moving to 150 in the second session, as England bid for a Lord’s record run chase of 371 to win.