England cricketers Ben Stokes and Jonny Bairstow who rescued their team in the fourth Ashes Test against Australia had a heated exchange with the Australian crowd in the stands. The batsmen were going to their dressing room at the Tea break when they heard a few members of the crowd making nasty comments. In a video that has gone viral, one person from the crowd can be heard telling Stokes that he is fat before his accomplice joins him and tells Bairstow to take his jumper off and lose some weight, the Indian Express reported.
Initially Stokes did not react to the banter but after the remarks were made against Bairstow, he stopped at the top of the stairs. Bairstow, infuriated with the slur against him and his team mate minced no words in taking on the situation.
Witnessing the exchange of words between Bairstow and a few people from the stands, Team director Ashley Giles chose to not intervene during the incident and let Bairstow do the talking. Giles later gave a light pat on the pack of Bairstow endorsing the stand taken by the English cricketers. Tallying a score of 128 runs before the fifth wicket, Bairstow scored his seventh test hundred while Stokes gave a supporting hand by scoring a marvelous 66. The English team was down with four wickets at a meager score of 36 but the fifth wicket partnership between the two sturdy players saved the day for England.
Talking to the media personnel later in the day at the press conference, Bairstow defended his stand saying that abuse was not on and unacceptable. He termed the incident as “a bit of bad-mouthing from the crowd” which was not great and not needed. He added that the cricketers are out on the field doing their job and most people are out there enjoying the game but unfortunately there are a few who overstep the mark.
This is not the first time that the Australian fans have hurled abuse and slur against the players of the opponent team. Last year when India were playing against Australia, few people from the stands had hurled abuses against Indian pacer Mohammad Siraj who was fielding at the boundary line. When Siraj pointed out the abuse, the organisers of the stadium had removed a total of six spectators from the ground.