Rishi Sunak backs England’s Ben Stokes in the controversial sacking of Australia’s Jonny Bairstow on day five of the second test at Lord’s – News Block

Australia’s High Commissioner to the UK Stephen Smith said in response to Sunak’s comments: “All cricketers will have formed their minds about the events at Lord’s by now.

“Those views will invariably be held firmly and firmly. The Ashes have always had those moments,” she said, adding that the focus would soon shift to Headingly for the third Test.

Australia should apologize, says Boycott

England cricket legend Sir Geoffrey Boycott, 82, wrote in the daily telegraph on Monday that Australia should apologize for its actions.

Despite saying that he had always respected tourists for “being tough and impartial competitors”, he argued that the action was not justified as Bairstow was not trying to seek an advantage.

“If you want to win at all costs then cricket should not be for you,” he wrote.

“We want people to play hard and fair, but surely there are standards to uphold. When hitters aren’t trying to take advantage, then you shouldn’t follow the letter of the law. Apply some common sense. Jonny wasn’t trying to steal a run.”

Australia were roundly booed throughout the remainder of the match and asked the MCC, the custodians of Lord’s, to investigate the alleged “verbal abuse” and “physical contact” with their players as they returned to the locker room over lunch.

Usman Khawaja and David Warner were among the players who called out specific MCC members.

The infamous Ashes series of 1932-33 sparked major tensions between the two nations after Australia’s cricket board sent out an angry cable complaining about England’s “body line bowling”.

“Unless stopped immediately, it is likely to upset existing friendly relations between Australia and England,” it said.


The then Governor of South Australia, Sir Alexander Hore-Ruthven, warned James Henry Thomas, who was the UK’s Dominion Secretary, that the dispute could have serious economic consequences for both countries.

Thomas later said: “No policy introduced into the British Empire caused me as much trouble as this bloody game of bowls.”

Australian Prime Minister Joseph Lyons later intervened to ease tensions by pointing out to the Australian junta the economic calamity in the event of a British boycott.

The Marylebone Cricket Club, owner of Lord’s Ground and guardian of the laws of the game, apologized on Sunday and Cricket Australia demanded an investigation after Khawaja and Warner were confronted. Subsequently, three members were suspended.

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