NEW Australian ‘Test opener Cameron Bancroft defined a head-butt greeting by Jonny Bairstow as “weird” on Monday as bizarre facts emerged from the late-night incident during England’s Ashes tour.
The wash-up of Australia’s thumping 10-wicket win over England in the first Test in Brisbane was conquered by questions about the incident including England’s wicketkeeper and Bancroft in a Perth bar last month, which only came to light over the weekend. There is compassion within the England camp about off-field behavior given the controversy surrounding suspended all-rounder Ben Stokes, who is facing a police inquiry into a fight outside a Bristol nightclub in September.
Bancroft was matter-of-fact about their coming together. “I got into a very amicable conversation with Jonny and he just welcomed me with a head-butt,” the Australian opener told a post-match media conference, calling it “weird”.
“I was expecting a handshake. It wasn’t the greeting of choice that I was expecting,” a dead-pan Bancroft added. “We got along for the rest of the night quite well and I let it go and moved on it from it, it was fine.”
Bairstow, whose actions were slammed as dumb by team coach Trevor Bayliss, faced reporters to make a statement but took no questions. He said the incident was blown out of proportion
‘There was no intent, nor malice about anything during the evening. As you could see out there was no animosity between myself, Cameron and any other of the Australia players.”
Australian captain Steve Smith said his team had used the incident to help get Bairstow out for C in England’s second innings of the Test. “It was basically about trying to get Jonny off his game, to be honest with you,” Smith said. “We were just trying to get in his head and it happened to work”
Brief Scores= England 302 and 195 lost to Australia 328 & 173/0 (Warner 87 no. Bancroft 82 no) by 10 wickets.