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Cummins' role in Carey’s dramatic stumping of Bairstow revealed in Season Three of The Test

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New Delhi, May 19 (IANS) Australia skipper Pat Cummins’ role in wicketkeeper Alex Carey’s dramatic stumping of England batter Jonny Bairstow in the second Ashes Test at Lord’s last year has been revealed in the third season of The Test documentary. On Day Five of the Lord’s Test, Bairstow was on 10 and England were at 193/5 in the 52nd over when he ducked a bouncer from Cameron Green and inadvertently walked out of his crease. On seeing that, Carey immediately directed an underarm throw after catching the delivery and jumped for joy after firing an accurate throw toward the stumps.

It led to chaos in the middle as Bairstow believed the ball was dead, with Australia immediately going for an appeal. On-field umpires Ahsan Raza and Chris Gaffaney sent the decision upstairs, where TV umpire Marais Erasmus confirmed Bairstow’s dismissal. On seeing the out decision, the Australian players celebrated while the crowd began to chant “same old Aussies, always cheating”, leading to the ‘spirit of cricket’ debate being reignited all over again.

Before leaving the crease, Bairstow and captain Ben Stokes exchanged words with Australian players, with the duo clearly not happy with the decision.

In the documentary, which will be aired on Prime Video on May 24, Cummins’ role in the stumping is revealed by the man himself, quoted as saying by ESPNCricinfo. "Cam Green was bowling and bowled a bouncer and he (Bairstow) ducked underneath it and then just walked out of his crease. So I just said to Kez (Carey) the ball before, I said 'Kez, just have a throw'."

Later, some Australian players faced verbal abuse from MCC members in the long room over the dramatic stumping. "Walking back into the Long Room, it was like we'd ripped the soul of out them...absolutely, yeah, people stepped over the line," recalled Cummins.

"One of them (the members) ...(was) spraying me. I was like 'Nup, you can't be saying that stuff'. He said 'Oh, I can say whatever I effing want', like a sense of entitlement almost," added Usman Khawaja.

"One of them was foaming at the mouth. A bloke hit Bull (David Warner) when he went up the stairs," recalled Marnus Labuschagne.

Bairstow’s lack of presence of mind in wandering out of the crease has also received huge attention. As per the laws of the game, Law 20.1.2 says, "The ball shall be considered to be dead when it is clear to the bowler’s end umpire that the fielding side and both batters at the wicket have ceased to regard it as in play."

The after-effect of the stumping resulted in Carey coping with huge abuse from crowds and on social media, so much so that cyber police in Australia got involved too. "It got a little nasty there for a while. That's probably the thing that shocked me the most, the abuse, people going after you…personal, family, all that sort of stuff," recalled Carey.

Senior batter Steven Smith also felt there was something amiss about Carey’s well-being post the Lord’s Test. "I could sense he wasn't quite right mentally, and I can understand it. I was worried about him and his well-being," he said.

"Everyone projected on Kez and didn't project on anyone else. It was all on Kez. Looking back on it, I just feel so bad for what he went through at the time and what his family would have gone through being there at the time. It would have been so hard," concluded Khawaja.

--IANS

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