England’s head coach Brendon McCullum has clarified his statement following the stumping dismissal incident that triggered booing from the Lord’s crowd during the Ashes Test series. After the series ended in a 2-2 draw, McCullum made a light-hearted comment, saying they would have a beer with the Australian team.
“Yeah, we’ll have a beer,” McCullum said with a laugh when asked by reporters about his previous comments.
The incident in question occurred during the second test at Lord’s when Australia’s wicketkeeper, Alex Carey, dismissed England’s Jonny Bairstow with an underarm throw at the stumps after Bairstow left his crease at the end of an over. The dismissal led to loud booing from the Lord’s crowd, and some members of the MCC verbally abused the Australian players in the pavilion.
Initially, McCullum had stated that they wouldn’t be having a beer with the Australian team anytime soon, suggesting that the incident had created tension. He had also emphasized the importance of living with the decisions made on the field.
However, on Monday, McCullum clarified that his previous comments were misinterpreted. He explained that he was reflecting on mistakes he had made in the past and expressing the gray area surrounding the spirit of cricket. He admitted that some of his decisions in the past were regrettable and was trying to highlight the complexities of the game.
McCullum acknowledged that the stumping incident would be remembered as one of the defining moments of the series, which is known for its twists and turns. However, he made it clear that it would not sour his relations with the Australian camp, especially with their captain Pat Cummins. Having coached Pat during the IPL, McCullum praised him as an “absolute champion fella” and considered him a friend.
In essence, McCullum sought to downplay any ill feelings resulting from the incident and emphasized his mutual respect and friendship with the Australian players, particularly with Pat Cummins.