Australian Usman Khawaja condemns abuse by MCC members in Lord’s Long Room

MCC have issued an unqualified apology to Australia after some of their players were mistreated while walking through the Long Room on the fifth day of the second Ashes Test at Lord’s, following the controversial dismissal of Jonny Bairstow, Usman Khawaja describing what which was said as “pretty disrespectful”.

Khawaja and David Warner were shown on TV footage getting into a heated exchange with members of the MCC as the Aussies made their way to their locker room for lunch, with stewards having to intervene. Speaking to Channel Nine afterwards, Khawaja said it was ‘really disappointing and I’m not just going to sit idly by’.

“It was really disappointing,” Khawaja said. “Lord’s is one of my favorite places. There’s always respect at Lord’s, especially in the members’ lodge in the long room, but there wasn’t any today. It was very disappointing.

“If someone asks me where is the best place to play, I always say Lord’s. The crowd is great, especially the members are great, and some of the things that came out of the members’ mouths are really disappointing and I don’t I just talked to a couple of them A couple of them made really big allegations and I just called them about it and they continued, and I was like, hey well, it’s your membership here. So I’m just pointing them out. But that’s pretty disrespectful, to be honest. I just expect a lot better from members.

Tempers flared at Lord’s after Bairstow was sent off when Alex Carey threw the stumps with the batter having left his crease for the end of the over – but without the ball being declared dead. Loud boos were heard around the ground and continued for the remainder of the game, although Australia captain Pat Cummins later said the dismissal was within the law and “totally fair play”.

“MCC came and apologized for the behavior of some members,” Cummins added during his post-game press conference. “I think some of them might lose their membership because of their behavior. Apart from this one time they’ve been fantastic all week. Normally fantastic, really welcoming. Something special to play at Lord’s. I like well the tradition.

“I think they were just aggressive enough and abusive towards some of our players, which I know the MCC weren’t too happy about.”

Asked about Bairstow’s dismissal, Khawaja said: “It’s what it is. We did the same thing in Edgbaston. Obviously it’s a bit different here. It’s disappointing to say the least. You know , we always try to play cricket , in our best spirit, and we’ve said since Patty took over, since Andrew McDonald took over, winning is as important as how we win.

“The decision was again in the hands of the umpire. If the umpire ruled it was a dead ball today, it was a dead ball. Just like yesterday’s catch [by Mitchell Starc, which was ruled not out]. We don’t entirely agree with this, but you must accept the referee’s decision. That’s why the referees are there. So I mean, there are always gray areas in cricket. And the way it turned out, I guess, in some ways is kind of disappointing. I love stuey [Stuart] Wide. I think he’s one of my favorite cricketers. The way he plays, the way he always has a smile on his face and he was pretty pissed off, which you don’t want to see. But yeah, that’s how it is.”

Cricket Australia and MCC have released statements in response to the events at the Long Room. A Cricket Australia spokesperson said: “Australian management has asked Marylebone Cricket Club [MCC] investigate several incidents involving spectators in the members’ area during lunch on the fifth day of the Lord’s Trial.

“Australian team players and staff are alleged to have been verbally abused, with some being physically contacted, as they walked to lunch in the members area.”

An MCC spokesman said: “The Long Room is unique in the world of cricket and the great privilege of players walking through the pavilion is very special. After the game this morning emotions were running high and words sadly been traded with some members of the Australian team, by a small number of members.

“We have unreservedly apologized to the Australian team and will deal with any member who has not maintained the standard we expect through our disciplinary processes. There was no need to eject anyone. off the floor and I’m happy to say there was no repeat of this as the players returned to the pitch for this afternoon’s session.”

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