England batsman Jonny Bairstow confronts ‘weak as p***’ abusive Aussie fans who told him to ‘lose some weight’ – and called Ben Stokes ‘fat’ – as they walked into the pavilion in Sydney during the fourth Ashes Test
- England batsmen Jonny Bairstow and Ben Stokes were abused by Australian fans as they walked off for the tea break on day three of the fourth Test
- Stokes was called ‘fat’ by one fan before another told Bairstow to ‘take your jumper off’ and ‘lose some weight’
- Bairstow stopped to fire back at his abuser, describing him as ‘weak as p***’
- The two batsmen had guided England from 36 for four to 135 for four at tea
- Bairstow went on to make an unbeaten 103 as England showed some fight
Both Bairstow and Ben Stokes stopped to confront the spectator as they climbed the steps to the pavilion, with the Yorkshireman firing some words back and describing the sledger as ‘weak as p***’.
The two batsmen were walking in for the tea break at the SCG having rescued England from the depths of 36 for four to reach 135 for four.
England batsmen Jonny Bairstow (left) and Ben Stokes (right) stopped to confront an abusive spectator who told Bairstow to ‘lose some weight’ at the Sydney Cricket Ground
Bairstow and Stokes were walking up the steps to the pavilion at the SCG when one spectator shouted ‘Stokes, you’re fat’ and a second told Bairstow to ‘take your jumper off and lose some weight’
In a video published by the Sydney Morning Herald, one spectator can be heard shouting: ‘Stokes, you’re fat.’
Another then yells: ‘Take your jumper off, Bairstow. Lose some weight, Bairstow.’
Stokes didn’t react to the abuse aimed at him but stopped at the top of the stairs when Bairstow decided to hit back.
‘Pal,’ Bairstow retorted. ‘That’s right. Just turn around and walk away. Weak as p***.’
Other spectators in the vicinity applauded the efforts of the two England batsmen.
Bairstow and Stokes had steered England from the depths of 36 for four to 135 for four at tea
Bairstow roars with delight after reaching his century during the evening session on day three
England’s managing director Ashley Giles, who was waiting to greet the players, didn’t intervene to stop the exchange but gave Bairstow a supportive pat on the back.
And Bairstow certainly had the last laugh on day three of the fourth Ashes Test with his unbeaten 103 steering England to 258 for seven at stumps, a deficit of 158 runs.
Bairstow said afterwards: ‘It was a bit of bad mouthing from the crowd. It’s not the greatest and it’s not needed.
‘We’re out there trying to do our jobs and people are enjoying the day’s cricket but unfortunately sometimes you have people who overstep the mark.
‘I think it’s important to stand up for ourselves because if we don’t we can cop it if people overstep the mark they need to be told.
Bairstow batted nicely for his unbeaten 103 as England showed some resistance on day three
‘It would have been nice if they had still been there giving it to us when we walked off at the end.
‘Unfortunately they weren’t there at the end and they missed the end of a fantastic day’s Test cricket.’
Stokes fell to spinner Nathan Lyon for 66 not long into the evening session. The all-rounder was clearly in discomfort because of the side strain that has precluded him from bowling in the match but made his highest score of the series.
The Sydney Morning Herald reported that police officers spoke to several men after the incident and they were directed to leave the stadium.
It came 12 months after India’s Mohammed Siraj was racially abused while fielding at the same stadium.
Mohammed Siraj of India was racially abused by spectators at the SCG last year
Though Cricket Australia confirmed that Indian players were subjected to racial abuse, six men who were ejected from the stadium following Siraj’s complaint were cleared.
Siraj, who has been fielding near the fine leg boundary and had just conceded 17 runs in an over, spoke to an on-field umpire and pointed to a section of the crowd.
The match was halted for eight minutes police escorted six men away from their seats.