Speaking on the Yorkshire Cricket: Covers Off podcast, Jonny Bairstow discussed the time he overslept on the day of his first Yorkshire photo shoot, the lie he told to get away with it, and the ensuing prank played on him by the coaching staff to force him to own up.
Yorkshire bowling coach Richard Pyrah, one of the podcast’s hosts claimed the England ODI opener “still lived the life of a student” in his first few years as a professional and handed over to Yorkshire quick Steven Patterson to recount the story:
“So it was the beginning of the season – end of March, beginning of April – we had our pre-season photo shoot and we had to get there for half past nine,” said Patterson. “Got our suits on, all lined up on the pitch, to have our photos taken. So we all get there, everybody’s there for roll call, but there’s no Jonny. And we’re like ‘how can he not be here? He lives two minutes away’. So, somebody rings him, and he goes, ‘I’ll be there in a minute’.
“Couple of minutes later he runs round the corner, it’s like watching that guy off Baywatch in slow-mo. He’s just running round, he’s got one of his arms in his suit whilst he’s putting his other arm in his suit. And he runs on to the pitch, his eyes are sellotaped up, because, lets be honest, he’s just woken up.
“The lads are like ‘Jonny, Jonny, what’s happened? What’s happened?’ and he goes, ‘I’ve had a problem with my car. The oil’s gone in my car. I need an oil change, my car won’t start.’ The lads are like, ‘Yeah ok’. Anyway we do the photo shoot and afterwards we got training. And you know what Mags [Anthony McGrath, former Yorkshire captain] is like, he never lets anything lie.
“He just prodded you on it Jonny, didn’t he? And he said, ‘Well it could do real damage to your car if you don’t get it checked so while we’re training why don’t we get Scotty Mac, our physio, to check the oil on your car?’ And you eventually owned up didn’t you?”
Bairstow then gave his side of the story. “Yeah I’d definitely slept in, and like you say, it was one of those where you’re literally in panic,” said Bairstow. “You’re a young lad who realises he let everyone down, so just stand there, just pretend no one is looking at you and hopefully people will forget it.
“Then you’ve got Anthony McGrath who is literally never forgetting anything. So literally I ended up playing the game that week and it kept going not just from that day the prank, as you say he got Scotty Mac on the case, and he was like, ‘I’ve got an Audi. It needs special oil that doesn’t it?’ And I’m like, ‘Yeah yeah, it needs special oil’.
“So the next thing, Mags persuades me to give Scotty Mac my car keys, to go and check the oil on my car. At which point, when he goes out the door, I just stood up in front of the lads and just said, ‘Lads I’m really sorry, I overslept the other morning, I’m really disappointed’. At which point, everyone just pissed themselves laughing, burst out laughing, and were like, ‘you’ll never ever live this down’. Because I tried my hardest, hardest, hardest, to pass it off as an oil change.”