New cricket documentary could re-ignite Ashes hostilities after 'unacceptable' scenes

The new season of 'The Test' could be bad news for England players.

Australian cricket players, pictured here being abused by MCC members in the Lord's Long Room during the Ashes.
Several Australian cricket players were abused by MCC members in the Lord's Long Room. Image: Getty/Channel 9

The Australian cricket team has been thanked for its "generous reaction" to the abuse it copped in the Lord's Long Room following the controversial Jonny Bairstow stumping – but a new documentary could soon create fresh drama. MCC chairman Bruce Carnegie-Brown has spoken for the first time since members of his organisation angrily confronted Australian players as they made their way off the ground and through the Long Room for lunch shortly after Bairstow's dismissal in the second Ashes Test.

A subsequent investigation resulted in two members being suspended and one barred for life. The incident threatens to end the decades-long tradition of players walking through the Long Room, within touching distance of members, and back to their dressing-rooms during breaks in play.

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"Yes, I was shocked. It is extraordinary the issue was about the spirit of cricket. We are hardly exemplars of the spirit of cricket if we are abusing cricketers in the pavilion," Carnegie-Brown told the UK's Daily Telegraph.

"Standing in the Long Room is one of the great privileges. That (closing it off to members) is exactly the potential threat if that behaviour is to reoccur. The Australians were extremely generous in their reaction to it but I would certainly say we are in last chance saloon on that.

"What we are trying to do is remind the members of the standards we expect. It makes clear this behaviour is unacceptable. We will review all of it before the 2024 season to make sure we have all our protocols right."

Usman Khawaja and David Warner during the Ashes.
Usman Khawaja and David Warner took exception to the actions of England cricket fans. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images) (Getty Images)

'The Test' documentary set to re-ignite Ashes stumping furore

Cricket Australia has accepted the MCC's apology and applauded the action taken against those responsible for the abuse, but the matter may not end there. MCC officials are privately concerned the issue may again come to the boil when Amazon Prime releases its fly-on-the-wall documentary – 'the Test' – centring on the Ashes series.

The camera crew was given access-all-areas privileges and may bring new detail on the Lord's incident to light once it airs. "Film crews followed the Australian team and MCC worries the players may not have been quite so diplomatic as their bosses," the Telegraph wrote.

Australia and England will come face-to-face for the first time since that acrimonious series when they meet in a crucial World Cup encounter in Ahmedabad on Saturday. Players from both sides insist there will no lingering animosity. Defeat will end any slim hope England, the defending champions, have of reaching the final four.

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