In the wake of the Jonny Bairstow Ashes controversy, Australia PM Anthony Albanese has supported his nation’s cricket team.
The English batsman left his position in the second test, seemingly believing the over had ended, and Australia went on to win the game. The England captain stated that Australia “broke the spirit of cricket” by taking the contentious wicket, and British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak agreed.
But the Australia PM said the country stands “right behind” its team. “Same old Aussies – always winning!” the prime minister tweeted, referring to the Australian side’s two consecutive Test wins so far. His phrase also appeared to be a jibe at English fans who chanted “same old Aussies always cheating” after Bairstow was dismissed.
Lord’s Cricket Ground in London hosted some of Australia’s best-known politicians during that match, including John Howard, the nation’s second longest-serving Prime Minister. Australian team captain Pat Cummins has maintained the Bairstow wicket was fair and within the rules.
But while his England counterpart Ben Stokes agreed Bairstow was out, Stokes said he would not have wanted to win a match “in that manner”.
The debate over the Bairstow wicket has ramped up the consistently fierce rivalry between Australia and England during an Ashes Test series.
Critics directed their condemnation towards England fans for their behavior at the member’s club in Lord’s on Saturday. During that time, a crowd heckled and yelled abusive remarks at the Australian team players as they walked past after the match.Following complaints from the Australian side, the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) – which owns Lord’s – issued an apology and said it had suspended three members over the incident.
On Tuesday, additional footage surfaced, revealing that English members in the crowd taunted and jeered at Australian batsman Usman Khawaja, a Muslim player of Pakistani heritage. The Sydney Morning Herald newspaper reported that Khawaja had been the target of repeated abuse in the room and released a video showing Khawaja reacting to the crowd, pointing out hecklers to a security guard.
He also described the comments as “disrespectful” and “really disappointing”.
Australian captain Cummins also said members were “quite aggressive and abusive towards some of our players”.