Ben Stokes draws huge cheer as England captain speaks out on Jonny Bairstow controversy

Ben Stokes drew huge cheers from the Lord’s crowd when discussing Jonny Bairstow’s controversial dismissal after England’s defeat to Australia in the second Ashes Test on Sunday. The England ace was run out after earning 10 runs by Australia wicketkeeper Alex Carey, who rattled the stumps when Bairstow walked out of his crease after ducking a bouncer from Cameron Green.

The incident sparked no shortage of controversy as Australia failed to withdraw their appeal, leading to questions over whether they had acted in the spirit of the game. The booing at Lord’s turned into cheers during Stokes’ post-match interview with Sky Sports, though, as the England skipper criticised Australia’s conduct despite the legality of Bairstow’s dismissal according to the rulebook.

“I think if the shoe was on the other foot I’d have had to have a deep think about the spirit of the game,” said Stokes, who produced a brilliant knock to reach 155 before he was caught by Carey off Josh Hazelwood. “Would I want to win a game in that manner? For me the answer is no.”

Australia captain Pat Cummins was also asked about the controversial incident and jumped to the defence of Carey, who he praised for noticing that Bairstow had a tendency to leave his crease early.

“I think Alex saw it happen a few balls previously,” said Cummins. “There was no pause. Catch it, straight away have a throw at the stumps. I thought it was totally fair play.

“That’s how the rule is. I know some people might disagree. Just like the catch yesterday [from Mitchell Starc, given not out due to the ball touching the grass]. That’s how I saw it.”

Bairstow’s dismissal was one of several fiery moments on the final day at Lord’s, with Australia batsman Usman Khawaja later confronting a spectator in the Long Room as the players headed to lunch. The 36-year-old took exception to the hostile reception his team were given and needed to be dragged away by security as tensions rose at the Home of Cricket.

Cricket Australia have since demanded an investigation into several incidents involving spectators in the members’ area, while the Marylebone Cricket Club were quick to issue an apology by way of an official statement.

They said: “We have unreservedly apologised to the Australian team and will deal with any member who has not maintained the standard we expect through our disciplinary processes. It was not necessary to eject anyone from the ground.”

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source: express.co.uk