Usman Khawaja's Ashes incident with MCC member set to spark change at Lord's

The Australian player took exception to something said during ugly scenes in the second Ashes Test.

Usman Khawaja, pictured here taking exception to abuse from an MCC member in the Lord's Long Room during the Ashes.
Usman Khawaja took exception to abuse from an MCC member in the Lord's Long Room during the Ashes. Image: Getty/Channel 9

The days of Lord's members getting up close and personal with players may be over as the bitter fallout from the contentious second Test continues ahead of this week's possible Ashes decider. A Lord's employee who was present the day of the second Test blow-up between Australian players and members following the contentious Jonny Bairstow stumping told Yahoo Sport Australia the abuse was that bad there was a genuine threat spectators may not be allowed that close again.

Speaking on the condition of anonymity, the Lord's insider said: "What was said wasn't just your usual banter, it was next level. People who were there and heard it were quite shocked.

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"That sort of behaviour is unprecedented and there is every chance it will lead to major changes in the future. I'm not sure members will be barred from that area (the Long Room) but that is one option, especially during breaks in play.

"The only definite is there will be change. They won't risk a repeat of what happened in the (second Test).

Asked how players would react to any change in the match-day procedure at Lord's, the insider continued: "I think they would be really disappointed if it came to that. The players, especially the overseas players, love the tradition of walking down from their dressing-room and through the Long Room onto the ground.

"It's a unique experience in the sporting world and one of cricket's treasured traditions. It'd be a real shame if the actions of a few brought about massive change."

Usman Khawaja and David Warner, pictured here walking out to bat during the second Ashes Test at Lord's.
Usman Khawaja and David Warner walk out to bat during the second Ashes Test at Lord's. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images) (Getty Images)

Usman Khawaja remains tight-lipped about what was said

Khawaja was a central figure in the Lord's drama, remonstrating with a MCC (Marylebone Cricket Club) member as the Australian players made their way through the Long Room and up a flight of stairs to their dressing room. Three members were suspended in the aftermath and could face further sanctions after fronting a King's Counsel this week to explain their actions.

Pressed on what was said at Lord's, the usually talkative Khawaja played the straightest of bats. He said: "I'm just going to leave it there. MCC are all over it.

"It's for the MCC to handle. I trust them to do the right thing. It's got nothing to do with me."

The Australians are in Manchester preparing for the fourth Test, which starts Wednesday night (AEST). The tourists are 2-1 up in the series and a win – or a draw – will be enough to retain the Ashes with a Test to spare.

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