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Ashes 2023: Sir Geoffrey Boycott demands public apology from Australia over Bairstow stumping

Legendary England opener Sir Geoffrey Boycott has demanded a public apology from the Australian team over the controversial stumping dismissal of Jonny Bairstow during their 43-run win in the second Ashes Test at Lord’s.

On day five’s play in the second Ashes Test at Lord’s, Bairstow was on 10 in the 52nd over when he ducked under a bouncer from Cameron Green and inadvertently walked out of his crease.

On seeing that, Australia wicketkeeper Alex Carey immediately directed an underarm throw after catching the delivery, and jumped in joy after firing an accurate throw towards the stumps.

On-field umpires Ahsan Raza and Chris Gaffaney sent the decision upstairs, where TV umpire Marais Erasmus confirmed Bairstow’s dismissal. The dismissal drew a furious reaction from the fans, who started to chant “same old Aussies, always cheating”, and booed the visitors for the rest of the day.

Apart from this, angry exchanges with Australian players by MCC members were also reported in the Long Room during lunch break. Australia captain Pat Cummins defended the dismissal but England skipper Ben Stokes said after the game ended that he would not want to win in ‘that manner’.

“Australia need to have think about what they did and make a fulsome public apology. That way it will redress the situation and everyone can then move on. These teams have played brilliant cricket in great spirit and it is a shame when something like that happens to spoil it all.”

“Australia have now had time to think about what happened. We all make mistakes in the heat of the moment. People will think better of the Australians if they put their hands up and say ‘we got it wrong’. That is the way to go. Let’s see over the next few days if they are man enough to do that.”

“If you want to win at all costs then cricket should not be for you. We want people to play hard and fair but surely there are standards to uphold. When batsmen are not trying to take an advantage then you should not follow the letter of the law. Apply some common sense,” wrote Boycott in his column for The Telegraph on Monday.

Aside from the Bairstow dismissal controversy, Australia are now leading the Ashes 2-0, and Boycott has urged England to not become the reason for their own downfall in the series, pointing out how they crumbled like a heap in the first innings at Lord’s, giving away a 91-run lead.

“Until this series, the England batting has been refreshing, exciting and injected new life into Test cricket. Even when scoring quickly the batsmen have looked in control with mainly proper cricket strokes. Suddenly in these last two Tests, they have lost their focus and their brains.”

“England are equal to this Australian team, winning many sessions. But whereas Australia have played smart cricket, England have been the architect of their own downfall. At Lord’s, England were in a great position at 188 for one when Australia started the bumper barrage.”

“The Aussies were in trouble and had to try something different but the England batsmen got themselves out taking chances by hooking, swiping and wafting at the short balls. It just needed a cool head and some patience. Tire the bowlers out. Make them work a lot harder for wickets,” he concluded. 

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