The incident occurred during the final day of the second Test when Bairstow was dismissed in unusual circumstances. Australia’s wicketkeeper, Alex Carey, threw down the stumps after Bairstow ducked the final ball of the over and walked towards his partner, Ben Stokes.
While the TV umpire, Marais Erasmus, upheld the decision, Bairstow believed that the over had concluded once he reached his crease. The incident incited an angry reaction from the spectators at the ground, who booed and jeered for the rest of the day. Tensions were further heightened as the Australian team passed through the Long Room.
England captain Ben Stokes indicated that he would have withdrawn the appeal, and Sir Geoffrey Boycott, a renowned former captain himself, supported this viewpoint in his characteristically forthright manner. In an article for the Daily Telegraph, Boycott called for Australia to reflect on their actions and issue a full public apology.
Boycott wrote, “Australia need to have a think about what they did and make a full public apology. That way it will redress the situation and everyone can move on. These teams have played brilliant cricket in great spirit, and it is a shame when something like that happens to spoil it all.”
“Australia has now had time to think about what happened. We all make mistakes in the heat of the moment. People will think better of the Australians if they put their hands up and say, ‘we got it wrong.’ That is the way to go. Let’s see over the next few days if they are man enough to do that.”
Boycott emphasized that cricket should not be about winning at any cost. He highlighted the importance of playing hard but fair, and maintaining certain standards. He argued that when a batsman is not attempting to gain an advantage, it is necessary to exercise common sense and not strictly adhere to the letter of the law.