Lord’s bosses have apologised after England cricket fans clashed with Australia players during the second Ashes Test.
As Australia players walked through the Long Room of the stadium during lunch, they appeared to exchange heated words with several Lord’s members.
Australia’s Usman Khawaja and David Warner both stopped to hit back at criticism the team were receiving, and were separated from the crowd by match officials.
The incident followed the controversial stumping of England’s Jonny Bairstow, which was met with chants of “same old Aussies, always cheating” by the home crowd.
Bairstow had ducked under a bouncing delivery which made its way through to wicketkeeper Alex Carey, before wandering out of his crease as he thought the ball was dead.
Carey threw the ball at the stumps and the run out was given following a check – prompting claims of unsportsmanlike conduct.
Bairstow’s unusual dismissal was met with fury by England’s players, with Stuart Broad taunting Carey and telling him: “That’s all you’ll ever be remembered for”.
Cricket Australia called on Lord’s bosses to investigate the confrontation in the Long Room, alleging that Aussie players had been verbally abused with some “physically contacted”.
In response, Marylebone Cricket Club said “emotions were running high” and “words were unfortunately exchanged” by a small number of members.
A spokesperson said: “We have unreservedly apologised to the Australian team and will deal with any member who has not maintained the standard we expect through our disciplinary processes.
“It was not necessary to eject anyone from the ground and I am pleased to say that there was no repeat of this as the players resumed the field for this afternoon’s session.”
Former England player Eoin Morgan said: “I’ve never seen scenes like that. Particularly in the Long Room, never mind all the way around the ground.
“There is a huge sense of frustration but I can understand why, it was complete naivety around what has happened with Jonny Bairstow’s dismissal.”
Despite a spirited England comeback, Australia eventually won the second Test by 43 runs.
An inspired Ben Stokes hit 155 to move England 70 runs away from victory, but his dismissal effectively ended hopes of an incredible comeback.
Australia now have a 2-0 lead in the series and will retain the Ashes should they win at Headingley next week.