Hypocrisy Shines As ‘Bitter’ England Cricket Fans Abuse Australian Players After Controversial Ashes Test

Same old Poms, always whinging...

Hypocrisy Shines As ‘Bitter’ England Cricket Fans Abuse Australian Players After Controversial Ashes Test

Image: AP

The long and historic cricket rivalry between Australia and England has taken another unexpectedly dramatic turn, with England’s Jonny Bairstow’s dramatic dismissal on the fifth day at Lord’s. But the response from members of the Marylebone Cricket Club will stain this Ashes series more than any on-field controversy…

The Ashes have a habit of throwing up some spin balls throughout the series; from Tim Paine’s rather public dismissal in 2021 to Stuard Broad’s refusal to walk in 2013, controversy finds this sport the same way Alex Carey finds the wicket. This weekend, in front of another frenzied full-capacity crowd, fresh disputes have been etched in the long history of this iconic game following the acrimonious events at Lord’s.

If you missed it, Australia’s Cameron Green bowled the final ball of his over to England’s Johnny Bairstow, who ducked it, lowered his bat and left his crease. Australia’s wicketkeeper, ball in hand, launched the ball at Bairstow’s unattended wicket to run him out, capitalising on a bizarre lapse of judgement from England who mistakenly assumed Green’s over was finished.

The riotous crowd at Lord’s erupted, with boos, jeers and chants of “Same old Aussies, always cheating!” ringing out around this renowned ground, calling into question the spirit of the game and more importantly, the manner in which the Australian players willing to secure the win.

WATCH The moment MCC members boo and jeer Australia as they leave they walk through Lord’s.

The outrage spilled out of the crowd and into the Long Room: a fabled area of the world of cricket that for centuries has been held to the highest standard within the game. It is tradition personified, emblematic of the illustrious excellence of this prestigious sport. And, following the dramatic events of Day Five, descended into a boisterous and brazen chorus of boos from the Marylebone Cricket Club members and their guests as the Australian players exited the field. It is tradition for the players to walk through the Long Room at Lord’s to enter and leave the field.

Three MCC members have been suspended for a physical altercation with Australia’s players following the events of Green’s over. No matter your views of on-field decisions, this crosses the line; it reeks of entitlement, and stains this storied series.

Champions for a reason

Bairstow’s dismissal, whilst sore, was justified. The umpire hadn’t called “over”, the ball was not yet dead and the wicket was vulnerable. Unlike England, Australia capitalised on costly mistakes. It’s crucial to ask, how can the Australian team be accused of not playing within the spirit of the game, if they’re operating within its laws?

Controversy aside, Australia dominated an anonymous England team across the two Tests. After winning the all-important toss, England couldn’t impose themselves, reminiscent of the events in the first Test in Birmingham, and allowed Australia, buoyed by an opening series win, to extend a huge lead and take the series to 2-0.

Ben Stokes’ century of runs was not enough to chase Australia’s lead. Image: Getty

Cricket is not a one-man team

England’s reliance on Ben Stokes was plain for all in attendance at Lord’s. Stokes was a man on a mission following the dramatic events that led to the dismissal of his batting partner, seemingly switching up to another gear during Cameron Green’s over at 5/193. Fuelled by vengeful brutality, Stokes raged to another famous century of runs, scoring 155 with nine sixes, in an innings reminiscent of his one-man conquest in 2019.

England needs to realise that cricket is not a one-man team if they’re going to take it to this world Test champion Australian side, who were largely ineffective after Stokes was run out with 70 left to chase.

Australia head to Headingley knowing that victory in Leeds will secure their first away Ashes since 2001, which would leave a larger stain on England cricket than any singular controversial moment in-game.