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‘People stepped over the line’ – Pat Cummins speaks up on Jonny Bairstow’s controversial stumping during 2023 Ashes

'People stepped over the line' - Pat Cummins speaks up on Jonny Bairstow's controversial stumping during 2023 Ashes

Pat Cummins. (Photo Source: Twitter)

In a recent interview, shown in The Test documentary, Australian captain Pat Cummins discussed the much-debated stumping of England’s Jonny Bairstow during the second Ashes Test last year. The incident, which occurred at Lord’s, turned out to be a pivotal moment in the series, sparking significant controversy and debate about the “Spirit of Cricket.”

During the match in July, Bairstow was dismissed for ten runs in a crucial run-chase of 371. He had stepped out of his crease after ducking a bouncer from Cam Green, assuming the ball was dead. However, Australian wicketkeeper Alex Carey quickly threw down the stumps, catching Bairstow off guard. The TV umpire declared him out, and England’s innings ended at 327, putting them 2-0 down in the series.

The dismissal ignited a storm of criticism. Many felt Bairstow should have been warned, arguing that the spirit of the game had been breached. Cummins, recalling the moment in the documentary “The Test,” which is set to release on May 24, said,

“Cam Green was bowling and bowled a bouncer and he [Bairstow] ducked underneath it and then just walked out of his crease. So I just said to Kez [Carey] the ball before, I said, ‘Kez, just have a throw’.” Carey was on point with his stumping as Bairstow was given out by the TV umpire. Speaking about walking back into the Long Room, Cummins recalled, “Walking back into the Long Room, it was like we had ripped the soul out of them … absolutely, yeah, people stepped over the line,”

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The reaction from the Lord’s crowd and MCC members was intense. As the Australian team returned to the Long Room for lunch, they faced verbal abuse. Usman Khawaja, one of the Australian batters, shared his experience, saying,

“One of the members … was spraying me (abusing him). I was like, ‘nup, you cannot be saying that stuff’. He said, ‘Oh, I can say whatever I want’, like a sense of entitlement almost.”

Batter Marnus Labuschagne also added, “One of them was foaming at the mouth. A bloke hit Bull [nickname for David Warner] when he went up the stairs.”

Reflecting on the moment in the dressing room, Carey quipped, “Someone told me to throw it…not sure who it was.”

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