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Yorkshire on security alert for Headingley Ashes Test following Lord’s incidents

Yorkshire are on security alert for this week’s Ashes Test at Headingley after the angry scenes which greeted Australia’s players at Lord’s on Sunday.

Alex Carey’s controversial stumping of Jonny Bairstow was greeted with a sustained barrage of boos and heckles from the 32,000 capacity crowd, with the touring team then experiencing an unusually confrontational reception from MCC members in the Long Room.

Australia captain Pat Cummins claimed the reaction was “abusive and aggressive”, while batter Usman Khawaja, who was seen in an angry exchange as he passed through, called it “pretty disrespectful”. Three individuals later had their memberships suspended pending an investigation, while MCC issued an apology.

Alex Carey (left) celebrates his divisive stumping of Jonny Bairstow.
Alex Carey (left) celebrates his divisive stumping of Jonny Bairstow (Mike Egerton/PA)

Ben Stokes welcomed the amplified vocal display from those in the stands at Lord’s, typically one of the quieter cricket venues, and predicted it would be “ramped up” in Leeds, where the Western Terrace is renowned as one of the liveliest stands in the country.

There is nothing comparable to the Lord’s Long Room at Headingley, but Yorkshire are taking the matter of security seriously as Australia prepare for what is likely to be a partisan and hostile welcome on Thursday.

There is also the potential issue of Just Stop Oil protesters, following two pitch invaders brandishing yellow paint powder on the first day at Lord’s. One man was carried off the pitch by Bairstow, while the other was blocked by Stokes and David Warner before being apprehended.

“The well-being of players, officials and spectators is paramount, and we are implementing appropriate measures to do everything within our control to keep everyone safe,” a spokesperson for the county told the PA news agency.

“Clearly, some incidents at Lord’s have heightened the interest and exposure of the third Test. We will continue to work closely with both the England and Wales Cricket Board and West Yorkshire Police to ensure our safety measures are proportionate for this fixture.

“The Ashes is a truly special occasion, and we want everybody visiting Headingley to have an incredible time watching first-class cricket at our iconic venue.”

Carey’s opportunistic stumping of Bairstow, who is a beloved local favourite in Yorkshire, is likely to make him a prime target for barracking over the next week.

Cummins said he would be keeping an eye on the 31-year-old gloveman, who was memorably told by Stuart Broad that his actions at Lord’s would be all he was ever remembered for, but hinted that the vitriol would help forge a siege mentality in the away dressing room.

England v Australia – LV= Insurance Ashes Series 2023 – Second Test – Day One – Lord’s
The Lord’s Test was delayed by Just Stop Oil protesters (Mike Egerton/PA)

“For sure, he’s one of the guys we’ll get around. We’ll look after him,” said Cummins.

“There’s nothing like loud crowds to bring a team together. These kind of moments can really strengthen a side. It seems every Ashes has some drama to it, things get stoked up halfway through a series. I don’t think anything will change for us, we’re still amicable.”

It is understood Cricket Australia will discuss security arrangements for the match during previously scheduled meetings ahead of the game.

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