Following the controversy over Jonny Bairstow’s stumping in the second Ashes Test at Lord’s, England Test captain Ben Stokes responded in an amusing fashion to a front-page article published by the Australian local newspaper on Monday.
As the tenth batsman, Bairstow was about to form a significant partnership with Stokes when Australian wicketkeeper Alex Carey ran him out as he strayed off the crease. Australia ultimately prevailed in the game, taking a 2-0 series lead.
On the main page of the newspaper, Stokes’ head was photo-shopped onto the body of a baby, replete with a dummy in the mouth. “Crybabies” was the primary headline, while “Poms take whining to new level with ‘cheating’ drivel” was the subheading.
Stokes, who highlighted the new cricket ball on the website, cited a tweet of the cover and stated, “That’s definitely not me, since when did I bowl with the new ball,” which was a reference to the cover.
Prior to this, the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) also implemented tight measures in response to incidents involving its members and Australian players on day five of the second Test on Sunday at Lord’s about the Bairstow run out.
Following altercations with David Warner and Usman Khawaja in the Long Room as Australia headed to the locker room for lunch, three players were punished.
The Australian cricket squad was apologized to “unreservedly” in a statement made public by the MCC.
“They will not be permitted back to Lord’s whilst the investigation takes place,” it added.
“We maintain that the behavior of a small number of members was completely unacceptable and whilst there was no suggestion by [Australia captain] 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 behavior witnessed and once again we re-iterate our apology to Cricket Australia.”