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Usman Khawaja on the Long Room Exchange: ‘Really Disheartening’

Following an interaction in the Long Room as the players proceeded for lunch on the fifth day of the Lord’s Ashes Test, Australia’s opener Usman Khawaja deemed the behavior of a few MCC members to be “extremely disappointing.” Khawaja and David Warner engaged in a heated verbal exchange with a few members that required the intervention of stewards, as captured on television.

In the morning session, when Jonny Bairstow was declared out stranded by Alex Carey while wandering out of his crease at the conclusion of the over believing the ball to be dead, the incident erupted. As a consequence of Bairstow’s dismissal, the audience routinely booed the visiting Australia team for the remainder of the session and the game, resulting in the incident in the Long Room.

Khawaja criticized the conduct of a few MCC members in an interview with Channel Nine after Australia’s 43-run victory gave them a 2-0 series lead. He stated, “It was extremely disappointing.” “One of my favorite sites to visit is Lord’s. Usually, reverence is displayed at Lord’s, particularly in the Members Pavilion’s Long Room, but not today. It was a major disappointment.

“If anyone asked me where the best place is to play, I always say Lord’s. The crowd is great, particularly the members are great, and some of the stuff that was coming out of the members’ mouths [today] was really disappointing and I wasn’t just going to stand by and cop it. So, I just talked to a few of them.

“A few of them were throwing out some pretty big allegations and I just called them up on it and they kept going, and I was like, well, this is your membership here. So, I’m just pointing them out. But it’s pretty disrespectful, to be honest. I just expect a lot better from the members.”

Both Cricket Australia and the MCC issued statements in response to the incident, with the latter apologizing unequivocally to the visiting team. “MCC can confirm that it has suspended three members identified earlier today,” a representative said. “They were informed this evening by MCC Chief Executive Guy Lavender that they will not be permitted to return to Lord’s while the investigation takes place.

“We maintain that the behavior of a small number of Members was completely unacceptable and whilst there was no suggestion by Pat Cummins in the post-match press conference that there was any physical altercation, it remains wholly unacceptable to behave in such a way, which goes against the values of the Club. MCC condemns the behavior witnessed and once again we reiterate our apology to Cricket Australia.”

Regarding Bairstow’s dismissal, Khawaja stated, “It is what it is. The same incident occurred at Edgbaston. Clearly, things are a little different here. To say the least, it is disappointing. Since Patty [Pat Cummins] and Andrew McDonald took over, we’ve maintained that how we succeed is equally as essential as winning.

“The decision again was in the umpire’s hands. If the umpire deemed it a dead ball today, it was a dead ball. Just like yesterday’s catch [by Mitchell Starc – ruled not out]. We don’t fully agree with it, but you have to accept the umpire’s decision.

“That’s why the umpires are there. So, I mean, there’s always grey areas in cricket. And the way it played out I guess in some respects, is kind of disappointing. I love Stuey [Stuart] Broad. I think he’s one of my favorite cricketers. The way he plays, the way he’s always got a smile on his face and he was pretty riled up out there, which you don’t want to see. But yeah, it is what it is.”


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