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Aus coach slams McCullum: Sparks fly in Ashes showdown!

Source: PTI
July 03, 2023 15:33 IST
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Pat Cummins

IMAGE: Australia captain Pat Cummins with coach Andrew McDonald. Photograph: Robert Cianflone/Getty Images

Australia head coach Andrew McDonald is "disappointed" by his England counterpart Brendon McCullum's comments following Jonny Bairstow's controversial stumping that has become a flash point of the Ashes series.

After the second Test, which England lost by 43 runs, McCullum said the dismissal -- which was followed by a heated exchange between few MCC members and Australian openers Usman Khawaja and David Warner -- will impact the relations between the two teams.

"I can't imagine we'll be having a beer any time soon. From our point of view, we've got three Test matches to try and land some blows and try and win the Ashes and that's where our focus will be," the England red-ball coach said on Sunday.


McDonald, however, was not pleased with the former New Zealand skipper's attitude.

"I haven't spoken to him. I've heard that comment for the first time, and I'm somewhat disappointed by that," McDonald told reporters on Monday.

After ducking a slow bouncer from Cameron Green, Bairstow had immediately left his crease to have a chat with Ben Stokes in the middle, believing that the ball was 'dead'.

However, wicketkeeper Alex Carey played within the rules and broke the stumps and third umpire Marais Erasmus gave a decision in favour of Australia.

Baristow's dismissal has opened a debate with the likes of McCullum and England skipper Stokes saying it was not in the spirit of the game.

The MCC's Laws of Cricket 20.1.2 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."

"There's no doubt when a player is leaving their crease or leaving their ground at certain periods of time that you take that opportunity," McDonald said.

"I think Pat relayed that in the after-match that there was some conversation around Jonny leaving the crease and Alex Carey took that opportunity and the ball's still live in our minds."

"It got sent upstairs and ultimately, the officiating third umpire decides it's out, it's within the laws of the game. So yeah, I don't see too many issues with it, to be perfectly honest," he added.

For McDonald, it was like any other form of dismissal.

"It's with every player. It's like when a player is running down the wicket to Nathan Lyon, does he take the opportunity to fire a ball down leg side because he's leaving his crease?" McDonald said.

"There's no doubt about that. You see a run-out opportunity at point, you throw at the bowler's end. And luckily, Marnus actually hit the stumps when (Ben) Duckett was on his way to 100. So he took that opportunity, thought he was out of his ground.

"So yeah, I think anytime that a player leaves their ground, you take that opportunity."

"I think the deliberation that potentially was being discussed out there was the fact that whether it was called over or not, I think that's where sort of Ben (Stokes) was discussing with the players out on the field."

"But any of these events are always going to polarise opinion. We saw it on day four with the (Mitchell Starc) catch as well. Some people thought it was out, some people thought it was not out."

"So, these types of events are interpreted as part of the laws. And sometimes not everyone agrees with it." 

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