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‘Wouldn’t even enter my mind to do that’: Bairstow reignites Ashes stumping furore, accuses Aussies of claiming unfair catches

24th October, 2023
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24th October, 2023
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Jonny Bairstow reignited the furore over his controversial stumping in the Ashes and opened himself up to claims of hypocrisy by claiming Alex Carey’s actions were something he had never seen happen before.

This is despite a similar incident in a county game in 2014 when he stumped Samit Patel well after the batter thought the ball was dead. 

In an extract published by the UK Telegraph in a soon-to-be-released book “Bazball: The inside story of a Test Cricket Revolution”, Bairstow told author Nick Hoult that he thought Carey had set a bad example by stumping him when he started wandering out of his crease thinking the over had been completed.

The incident occurred at a key moment in England’s ultimately unsuccessful run-chase in the final innings of the second Test at Lord’s to go 2-0 down in the series which the host nation eventually levelled but Australia retained the Ashes.

After being tightlipped in interviews and media conferences since the incident, Bairstow initially tried to avoid Hoult’s questions after the Ashes series was over about the stumping before eventually opening up.

“The decision was that I was out, and I moved on,” Bairstow said. “I’ve not brought it up since. I’ve kept quiet. It’s on them. If that’s how they want to go about it and win a cricket game or what have you, then so be it.

“If you’re starting in your crease, then it wouldn’t even enter my mind to do that.

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“They’re two different things. If you’re starting out of your crease, you’re trying to gain an advantage. If you start in your crease, and not trying to take a run, and you finish in your crease … That’s the bit – if you try to gain an advantage, then it’s fair game.

“But if you’re starting in your crease, you’ve ducked, tap, tap, scratched. I’ve even dragged my bat, looked up, and then gone.

“I’ve never seen it happen from someone starting in their crease. I don’t think you want that filtering down into kids’ cricket. Look at the Mankads and everything like that. You want young kids to be out there batting and having fun, not thinking about whether the fielders might do this or that. 

“It might tarnish people’s enjoyment of the game that we’re trying to get kids into. You want to be out there batting and bowling, rather than thinking about the 11 different ways you can get someone out.”

While the Australians were booed by the MCC members in the Long Room at Lord’s and by fans at the ground and throughout the UK, Bairstow also copped plenty of stick at the time when footage emerged of him using a similar tactic nine years earlier as a young wicketkeeper in county cricket.

When interviewed about it after that game, he replied: “It’s just one of those things that are in the rules of the game and that’s how it is.

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“It’s happened at the highest level and I’m sure it’s happened at the highest level as well.”

There was also a similar incident earlier in the Lord’s Test when Bairstow had a ping at the stumps when Marnus Labuschagne was batting but he claimed that was a different set of circumstances because the Australian star was batting out of his crease.

Bairstow also claimed Australia took illegal catches during the Ashes as part of his first in-depth reflection in the book interview.

He cast doubt as to whether the ball hit the ground before Steve Smith controlled it to dismiss Joe Root on day two at Lord’s.

Bairstow also questioned whether Labuschagne had caught Harry Brook cleanly in the second innings of the first Test at Edgbaston.

“There’s conjecture around everything,” he said. “Fingers underneath the ball when the ball’s still touching the ground. Celebrating when the ball has touched the ground. Marnus celebrated at Edgbaston at short-leg.

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“Then the one that ‘Rooty’ fell to at Lord’s, when (Smith) said his fingers were underneath the ball. However, they were splayed widely. 

“But that was given out, that’s fine – it’s part and parcel of the game and the decisions the umpires give.”

with AAP

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