Brendon McCullum doubts squads ‘will be having a beer soon’ after fiery Test

Brendon McCullum doubts squads ‘will be having a beer soon’ after fiery Test

England head coach Brendon McCullum doubts his side will be “having a beer any time soon” with Australia’s players following a controversial climax to the second Test at Lord’s.

Jonny Bairstow’s dismissal – out of his crease believing the ball to be dead as Alex Carey’s expedient underarm threw down his stumps – overshadowed Australia’s 43-run win to move 2-0 up in the series.

The laws of the game state: “The ball shall be considered to be dead when it is clear to the bowler’s end umpire that the fielding side and both batters at the wicket have ceased to regard it as in play.”

Jonny Bairstow was controversially dismissed on the final day of the second Ashes Test (Mike Egerton/PA)
Jonny Bairstow was controversially dismissed on the final day of the second Ashes Test (Mike Egerton/PA)

Carey throwing upon collection of the ball without hesitation seems to vindicate him but, as Bairstow was not seeking a run, the Australia wicketkeeper’s actions call into question the so-called ‘spirit of the game’.

And the famously laid-back McCullum admitted the flash point might impact relations between the teams as he said on the BBC’s Test Match Special: “I can’t imagine we’ll be having a beer any time soon.”

Carey’s swift handiwork and Australia captain Pat Cummins’ decision to uphold the appeal meant a visibly furious Bairstow had to depart but a normally sedate Lord’s crowd seethed at the outcome, with boos and chants of “same old Aussies, always cheating” ringing out throughout the final day.

Ben Stokes channelled any frustration into a jaw-dropping innings of 155 as England were all out for 327 in pursuit of 371, but the Bairstow dismissal remained on everyone’s lips after the denouement.

McCullum added: “I think it was more about the spirit of the game and when you become older and more mature you realise the game and the spirit of it is something you need to protect.

Debate will rage on about whether Alex Carey acted in the spirit of the game (Mike Egerton/PA)
Debate will rage on about whether Alex Carey acted in the spirit of the game (Mike Egerton/PA)

“You have to make decisions in the moment and they can have affects on games and people’s characters.

“By the letter of the law he is out. Jonny was not trying to take a run and the umpires had called over.

“It is one of those difficult ones to swallow and you look at the small margins it is incredibly disappointing.

“But lots of people will have their opinion on both sides of the fence. But the most disappointing thing is that it will be the most talked about event of a great Test match.”