Updated: January 8, 2022 12:30:09 pm
England batters Ben Stokes and Jonny Bairstow had a field day on Day 3 of the fourth Ashes Test at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
The duo was involved in a heated exchange with a few spectators while going back to the dressing room at the Tea break.
In a video published by the Sydney Morning Herald, one spectator can be heard shouting “Stokes, you’re fat,” before another chirps in with “Take your jumper off, Bairstow. Lose some weight, Bairstow.”
Ben Stokes did not react to the abuse directed at him but stopped at the top of the stairs after the remarks made to only Bairstow. A fuming Bairstow then returned fire at his abuser.
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“Pal,” Bairstow said. “That’s right. Just turn around and walk away. Weak as piss.”
Team director Ashley Giles, who was standing right there, did not intervene during the exchange but gave Bairstow a supportive pat.
Stokes and Bairstow rescued England with a 128-run fifth-wicket stand as at one stage the hosts were reeling at 36 for 4. Bairstow scored his seventh Test hundred, while Stokes made a crafty 66.
During the press conference, Bairstow said the abuse was not on and unacceptable.
“It was just a bit of bad-mouthing from the crowd and obviously it’s not the greatest and it’s not needed,” he said.
“We’re out there trying to do our jobs. People are out there, enjoying the day’s cricket and unfortunately sometimes you have people overstep the mark.”
“It’s important to stand up for ourselves, because if we’re not standing up for ourselves as well, then you can cop it and especially when people overstep the mark, they need to be told.”
The incident comes one year after India paceman Mohammed Siraj, then fielding at the boundary line, halted play at the same venue to report racial abuse. Six spectators were removed from the ground on that occasion.
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