Bairstow lays down the law to Australia on sledging

England wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow has warned Australia there will be ramifications if there is a repeat of the sledging that marred the hosts’ victory in Brisbane.

???Bairstow has acknowledged the second Test was played in the right spirit but does not believe the same could be said of the series opener.

The issue of sledging has overshadowed the on-field action since news emerged of Bairstow’s “headbutt” greeting of Cameron Bancroft at the start of England’s tour.

England coach Trevory Bayliss and Australia’s bowling coach David Saker have both said there is too much talk and they would prefer the focus to return to the play.

In a column for the Daily Mail newspaper in the UK, Bairstow said he had no issue with Australia’s sledging over the headbutt despite believing he had been “stitched up” but was unhappy with other remarks made to him.

England have stopped short of saying Australia had crossed the line in their treatment of Bairstow but former England players Matt Prior and Bob Willis have accused Steve Smith’s men of making personal barbs.

The nature of those comments have not been revealed though social media is awash with speculation as to what was directed at Bairstow.

While the Australians do not believe they went too far, Bairstow disagrees but is prepared to let the matter rest for now.

“Some other things, apart from the ‘headbutt’ business, were said by Australia in the middle but what they were is staying there,” Bairstow wrote.

“We move on. Hopefully it’s gone now. I’m not making an issue of it. Only if they are said again would the matter go further. We just need to get on with trying to get back in this series.

“The second Test was played in a good spirit, tough but fair. There were some verbals from both teams but this time nothing crossed the line. Clashes like we saw in Adelaide are part of sport.

“You think when England played Australia last week in the rugby league World Cup final there weren’t words said? You have elite sportsmen doing their utmost to win a huge series. There are going to be frustrations and flashpoints. But if we were the type of people who shrink from conflict and a battle, we wouldn’t be here.

“Remember, there are three members of the Australian side who have been teammates of mine at Yorkshire – [Peter] Handscomb, Mitchell Starc and Shaun Marsh – and we get on very well off the field. I had a good chat to Mitchell after the second Test and we leave what has gone on during the matches out there.”

“I’ve not lost any friendships over the last couple of weeks, put it like that.”

Bairstow dismissed suggestions Australia’s sledges about headbutting had contributed to his dismissal in the second innings in Brisbane.

“I played a bad shot,” Bairstow wrote. “You have to take a few risks when you’re batting with the tail and the truth is I had forgotten they had a third man.”

Australia captain Steve Smith said before the second Test his team had not done anything wrong in Brisbane.

“I think everything was fine. It was played in good spirit. As I’ve said previously, there’s a line there that we’re not to cross. I thought we played the game in good spirit, I’ve got no issues there,” Smith said.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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