Gower slams 'ugly' Lord's Long Room treatment of Australia as 'out of order'

By Sports Desk August 14, 2023

David Gower believes the reaction of the Lord's Long Room to Australia during the Ashes was "ugly" and "out of order".

Alex Carey's controversial stumping of Jonny Bairstow on day five of England's eventual second Test defeat at the start of July caused a furious reaction from the crowd at the usually reserved Lord's.

That preceded an altercation between Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) members and Australia's players at the lunch break in which Usman Khawaja and David Warner were confronted in the Long Room.

Three MCC members were suspended as a result, and while Gower embraces the rivalry between England and Australia, he also feels there is a line that was crossed in the recent series.

"The rivalry should be on the field," Gower told Stats Perform. "The rivalry should be contained on the field, where you give 100 per cent.

"Each and every man gives 100 per cent each and every day. You bowl your bouncers, hit fours, your sixes, you take people on, there's a bit of banter. That's fine. That's where it should be contained.

"Obviously, in an Ashes series for many years now we've seen both Down Under in Australia and in England now, the fans are very partisan.

"That incident at Lords was ugly, and I'm afraid to say that those members of the MCC in the pavilion at Lord's were horribly out of order."

Gower defended Carey's actions, saying: "For the record, I have no problem with what Alex Carey did.

"I just thought Jonny Bairstow was careless, made an assumption he shouldn't have made. And it could have easily been avoided if Jonny just looked behind him and put his bat down. Not out, carry on with the game. And then England actually might still have had a chance of winning that game."

Gower also believes fans should move on from the 2018 ball-tampering scandal for which Warner and then-captain Steve Smith received 12-month suspensions, with chanting referencing the incident audible during the 2023 series.

"This whole thing, I find it actually quite distasteful to be honest," Gower added.

"Yes, some years ago, they did use sandpaper. [But] they've done everything possible to get over it. They've tried ever so hard to be nice, while still not losing that competitive edge."

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