Cricket fans are set for the feistiest Ashes test in recent history with England in a do or die encounter at Headingley.
The Aussies are leading 2-0 after the opening two Test matches, with both matches full of blockbuster action and controversy.
Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese jubilantly tweeted ‘Same old Aussies – always winning’ after Sunday’s enthralling encounter, as he cheekily mocked England – and British PM Rishi Sunak.
Mr Sunak argued that Alex Carey’s controversial stumping of Jonny Bairstow at Lord’s on day five of the second Test was not in keeping with the spirit of the game.
Wicket-keeper Bairstow was stumped by counterpart Carey after he had walked out of his crease at the end of the over.
However, the umpire had not signalled the end of the over, with a quick-thinking Carey seizing his opportunity to take the wicket – leading to cries of ‘same old Aussies, always cheating’.
England captain Ben Stokes roared he wouldn’t want to win in that way – which led The West Australian to mock the all-rounder on the front page of their newspaper.
The image showed a photoshopped picture of a baby with Stokes’ face, a dummy, cricket ball, and an upturned Ashes urn with the headline ‘Crybabies’.
Stokes had said: “Would I want to win a game in that matter? I think the answer for me is no.
“There’s lots of factors. I would ask the umpires whether they had called over. They made a move towards the end of the over. But at the end of the day it is out.
“If the shoe was on the other foot I would have had a think about the whole spirit of the game. But it has happened. It was out. We have to move on.”
Bairstow’s controversial dismissal also led to three MCC members being suspended after they approached the Australia players in an ‘aggressive and abusive’ manner in the Long Room at Lord’s.
Footage has even shown the Aussies being hissed and booed as they made their way up the stairs for lunch on Sunday.
But the visitors have taken it all in their stride, with batsman Matthew Renshaw pointing and laughing at the fuming spectators.
Even skipper Pat Cummins relished the hostile atmosphere as he couldn’t help but smirk during his post-match interview as fans jeered him from the stands.
Though England bowler Stuart Board, who told Carey that his stumping of Bairstow is ‘all that he will be remembered for,’ has insisted Cummins will regret allowing the dismissal to stand when writing in his Daily Mail column.
All eyes will be on the third Test at Headingley at 11am on Thursday morning, with England knowing they have to win if they wish to regain the Ashes.
It’s been eight years since the famous urn was hoisted by an England squad, with only one team before managing to come from 2-0 down to win 3-2 in a five-match series.
That came in the 1936-37 series when Don Bradman inspired Australia to victory against the odds.
Stokes’ ‘Bazball’ philosophy will need to come to fruition in the remaining Test matches in what promises to be a nail-biting watch.
And although Bazball hasn’t reaped the rewards the team would want this series, the England squad show no sign of compromising their all-out attack principles. Joe Root reveals England have another weapon on their side this time around.
“We’ve got nothing to lose,” he said.
“We’ll throw everything at it. And I think it’s time for us to start writing our script.
“You’ve got to let the emotions get you into a place where you’re still very much in control of what you are doing and thinking. I think the perfect example was Ben, the way he played on the back of it. He plays that situation better than anyone I have ever seen.
“A younger Ben Stokes might have let his emotions override what he needed to do, but you look at how he gets himself into that zone. I think it’s a brilliant example for the rest of the guys to follow. Use all that fuel, but do it in a very controlled manner.
“Everyone will deal with it slightly differently, but it’s still about being very much in control of everything. And not letting it get too carried away.”