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'You write the rules, you f--king idiots': The Test doco lifts lid on Aussies' response to Bairstow stumping, hilarious quip

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19th May, 2024
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Jonny Bairstow wants to never mention it again and Alex Carey got sick of hearing about it but the firestorm surrounding their dramatic incident from last year’s Ashes Test is about to ignite again with Amazon Prime’s third series of The Test to be released next week.

Carey’s stumping of Bairstow on the final day of the tense Second Test at Lord’s is featured in the behind-the-scenes documentary which covers one of the most controversial Ashes series in history.

The fly-on-the-wall style doco, which will premiere on May 24, contains the revelation that captain Pat Cummins signalled to Carey on the previous delivery that Bairstow was wandering out of his crease so he might try to catch him out of his ground.

Cameron Green bowls a bouncer off the final delivery of the over, Bairstow fails to stay in his crease an Carey throws down the stumps to dismiss his opposing keeper and set off what became an international incident with each country’s Prime Minister having their say on the matter.

“For me it was just clear cut. That’s out,” said Cummins in The Test.

Cummins and his team copped a chorus of verbal abuse from the spectators and were the subject to tirades from the normally genteel MCC members as they made their way through the Long Room to their changerooms.

“That’s how I’ll always remember the Lord’s Test match,” Cummins added. “It was like we’d ripped the soul out of them. Absolutely people stepped over the line.”

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Veteran opener Usman Khawaja took umbrage to the abuse frm the members and he recalled that one of them told him “I can say whatever I effing want”.

“One of the MCC members started spraying me. There was probably three of them that called out but one of them was really inappropriate.”

Back-up batter Marcus Harris cracked up his teammates with his retort of “you write the rules, you fucking idiots, it’s not our fault” to the furious members.

Marnus Labuschagne claimed that one of the members kicked David Warner as he made his way up the stairs: “One bloke was foaming at the mouth.”

Australia coach Andrew McDonald is then seen chatting to Cummins in the Lord’s changerooms during the lunch break saying: “It’s going to polarise, but it goes upstairs and (the umpires) are there to make a decision … You guys felt comfortable with it as an appeal.

Off spinner Nathan Lyon is shown in The Test watching on from the changeroom while nursing his injured calf saying “that’s just blatantly out. Oh, that’s made my calf feel better. Suck eggs.”

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Australia went on to win the Test to lead the series 2-0 and despite England winning two of the remaining three matches, Cummins’ squad retained cricket’s most famous little urn.

Bairstow has refused to speak in depth about the incident. In the book “Bazball: The inside story of a Test Cricket Revolution” released in October, he 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 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.

“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.

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“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.

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