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Ashes 2021/22

Watch: ‘Just turn around and walk away’ – Jonny Bairstow responds angrily to crowd after ‘lose some weight’ jibe

Watch: 'Just Turn Around And Walk Away' - Jonny Bairstow Responds Angrily To Crowd After 'Lose Some Weight' Jibe
by Wisden Staff 3 minute read

Watch: Jonny Bairstow and Ben Stokes copped insults regarding their weight from SCG crowd members as they walked off for tea on the third day of the fourth Ashes Test and reacted angrily.

The second session of the day was one of very few that England have had the upper hand in in the series, with Stokes and Bairstow batting out the session to help England recover from 36-4. However, their pleasure as they walked off the field was marred by jibes from the crowd, which the pair heard and responded to.

In amateur footage acquired by the Sydney Morning Herald, two crowd members can be heard shouting “Stokes you’re fat”, “Take your jumper off Bairstow”, and “Lose some weight Bairstow”.

Upon hearing the insults, Stokes and Bairstow stopped, with the ECB’s director of England men’s cricket Ashley Giles watching on. Bairstow shouted back, “That’s right, just turn around and walk away. Weak as piss.”

Stokes has been involved in verbal battles with spectators before. Following a dismissal in South Africa in 2020, he shouted, “Come and say that to me outside the ground you f***ing four-eyed c***”, after his appearance was reportedly compared to Ed Sheeran’s in derogatory fashion. That outburst was caught by the TV cameras. Stokes later apologised for his actions.

It’s the second year in a row that the Sydney Test has been affected by crowd abuse. In India’s famous draw in 2021, Mohammad Siraj halted the Test so that six spectators, who he alleged had abused him, could be ejected from the ground.

Stokes was dismissed after tea for 66, his first half-century in the series. Bairstow went on to make England’s first hundred this Ashes, his first three-figure score in Tests since 2018. England ended play on 258-7, trailing Australia by 158 runs.

Watch Bairstow and Stokes’ encounter with the crowd below:

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