How Usman Khawaja had to separate Jonny Bairstow and David Warner in the lunch room over controversial Ashes stumping: ‘It could have exploded to a lot worse’
Australian opener Usman Khawaja has revealed how close Jonny Bairstow and David Warner became after the England keeper confronted them in the lunchroom following his controversial Ashes stumping.
While the Aussies have been able to joke about the incident ever since, Khawaja has revealed that things could have gotten very heated if he hadn’t intervened.
The England wicketkeeper was stunned after walking out of his crease at the end of the over in the second Test, a crucial moment that allowed Australia to claim a 2-0 lead in the series.
English broadcaster Piers Morgan criticized the Aussies for violating the Spirit of Cricket, while Lord’s members roundly booed the Australian team as they went back inside for the lunch break.
I’m talking to Channel 7 The class cricketerthe Aussies revealed how an irate Bairstow followed them to the lunchroom.
“Jonny was steaming. Absolutely steaming,” said Australian batsman Marnus Labuschagne.
Bairstow was furious after being stunned when he thought the ball was dead at the end of the over
Usman Khawaja said that while the Australians found the lunchroom incident funny in hindsight, he feared it would escalate at that point.
If Barstow wasn’t angry enough already, the television crew decided to throw gasoline on the fire.
“The Sky crew knew Jonny Bairstow was there and they just played it on the big screen,” Marnus said.
“Are you happy with that?” he added, posing as Bairstow.
“Dave Warner is right there, spitting out his chicken (laughs) and saying ‘yeah, very.'”
The fiery England wicketkeeper protested to the Aussies, including Travis Head (pictured right) over the incident
David Warner found Bairstow’s reaction particularly hilarious when he followed the Aussies into the lunchroom to challenge them.
That was when the situation could turn physical had Khawaja not intervened.
While the Australians can now joke about the incident, Khawaja said SENQ breakfast that the situation had the potential to escalate very quickly.
“I was sitting next to Davey (Warner) when it happened,” he said.
“So we walked in there and I thought, ‘What’s going on here?’ Because Sky Sports played it on the wall.
“I don’t think this is going to end well, and I never really thought he (Bairstow) would actually say anything, but Johnny was pretty annoyed and pretty angry.
Bairstow eventually trudged off the field, but would soon follow the Aussies into the lunchroom to get at them one more time.
Bairstow was not alone; most members of the Heer had something to say to the Aussies as they left the field after the incident
“As you would have seen at the Grade Cricketer, Davey’s reaction was quite hilarious, and I literally had to be the mediator,” Khawaja continued.
“When Johnny said, ‘Are you happy with yourself?’, and Davey says, ‘Yes, very much,’ part of me burst into tears inside. What a response.
“But the second part of me was like, ‘Don’t let them do anything,’ and Johnny was like, ‘Hey, what?’ so I was like, ‘Come on guys, relax, we’re in.’ the lunchroom, chilling, never mind going to the field’.’
“Not a word was spoken after that, I had to intercede and calm down a bit, because I think it could have exploded a lot worse.”
Khawaja said the Aussie players immediately burst into laughter as they left the lunchroom after initially being shocked by Bairstow’s challenge.
“You know, when it’s that awkward bit where he says something, you think, ‘Oh sh– he really said something,'” Khawaja said.
“As if this is the lunchroom, this is not the place we should be here.
So yeah, it was kind of awkward and as soon as everyone walked out of the lunchroom, you just saw everyone giggling and chatting.
“We were like little kids gossiping about what just happened.”