David Warner says the vitriol and abuse Australian players received from MCC members following Jonny Bairstow’s incendiary dismissal at Lord’s was unlike any he has encountered in almost 15 years of international cricket.
Warner was at the centre of clashes with Marylebone Cricket Club members during the second Ashes Test along with opening partner Usman Khawaja. The unprecedented scenes led to three people being suspended by the club.
Warner’s wife Candice, who attended the Lord’s Test and has since returned to Australia, also claimed Australian players were “touched” and “kicked” as investigations into the unsavoury incident continue.
Speaking on the eve of Wednesday’s fourth Test at Old Trafford, after a week of intense focus on his place at the top of the order, Warner said the abuse directed at players at Lord’s was unlike any he had received before.
“It was absolutely incredible, I have never experienced anything like it,” Warner told the Vaughany and Tuffers Cricket Club podcast, hosted by former England stars Michael Vaughan and Phil Tufnell.
“I have copped some stuff before from people, but proper grown men, mature people who are meant to be the quietest at the home of cricket, it was something to behold.
“I wish I had a microphone so people could get a sense of how loud it was in there. It was crazy. I can’t repeat it on here.”
Warner has been targeted by fans throughout his career, with wife Candice abused at times as well.
Australia’s 2018 tour of South Africa, infamous for the ball-tampering scandal that ended with Warner, Steve Smith and Cameron Bancroft being issued lengthy bans, started to turn ugly after formal complaints about crowd behaviour at Newlands in Cape Town.
Warner and other players were subjected to derogatory comments about their wives and partners from the crowd. Fans also sang disparaging songs and wore vulgar T-shirts targeting Candice.
Last summer, Candice said she confronted spectators during the second Test against the West Indies after being abused in front of her children at Adelaide Oval.
Bairstow’s stumping at a crucial juncture in the Lord’s Test, after Alex Carey threw down his stumps when he wandered out of his crease, prompted boos and abuse throughout the rest of the match and made for tense scenes at the lunch break soon after.
Injured spinner Nathan Lyon said this week Bairstow had clashed with Australian players during the interval. Khawaja declined to elaborate on the abuse he received.
Speaking on Fox Sports’ Back Page on Tuesday night, Candice said barbs had been traded between Bairstow and David Warner, who have played together for IPL franchise Sunrisers Hyderabad.
“Jonny got up and had a few words, David had a few words back at him,” she said.
“That whole Test was pretty grubby to be completely honest. It was very disappointing, even after the game when the supporters stuck around. There were players like Starcy [Mitchell Starc] and Pat Cummins trying to do their media, the vile abuse kept going.
“It wasn’t just those images [where Warner and Khawaja confronted MCC members before security intervened]. It continued up two flights of stairs to the change room and two more flights of stairs up to where the boys were having lunch. You don’t want to see that anywhere.
“There were some players who actually were touched, were kicked. Usman Khawaja was really upset at what was directed at him as well.”
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