Cricket

Jonny Bairstow received incredible gift from Australian cricket supporter

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English wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow has picked up some pretty unwanted headlines in the early stages of the Ashes campaign.

An over exuberant greeting for Australian opener Cameron Bancroft in a Perth nightspot was picked up by the national press, after Bairstow was heavily sledged by the Australian players in the second innings of the first Test.

Bairstow explained the situation and his account was supported by Bancroft, who was not in the Australian squad at the time of the event happening.

Happily, though, Bairstow's next venture into the headlines has a much kinder feel to it.

The 28-year-old from Yorkshire was given a priceless gift from a complete stranger in Adelaide.

Local man Andrew Johns won a pair of wicketkeeping gloves of Jonny's dad David, who was England's reserve keeper in the 78/79 tour.

He presented the gloves to Bairstow before the start of the third day's play.

Bairstow Sr past away in 1997, but his legacy is fresh in his son's memory, and he was touched by the sentiment of Jones.

Sky Sports reported Bairstow as saying: "It's something that is always very special.

"I've been fortunate enough to go all over the world, and all over the world people have some fond stories of dad."

David played four times for England, but was a legend for Yorkshire where he scored nearly 14,000 runs in 459 first class games and was a captain for the county.

Mr Johns was more than happy to part with the gloves and knew how much it would mean to Jonny.

"We had a good half an hour together which was wonderful.

"He was quite emotional to receive the gloves. It was really lovely.

"I just lost my father this year in June and I know if someone gave something to me that belonged to my father I'd want it, and that's what I wanted to do for Jonny.

"He's a ripping bloke. My dad used to say if you ever meet a Yorkshireman he's as close to an Australian as you'll get, down to earth with a laugh and a beer and tell you how it is, and he's exactly all of those."

It is the kind of story which warms the heart in the middle of a fierce battle.

England who were well and truly on the ropes by the middle of day three, now have a fighting chance of levelling up the series tomorrow needing another 178 runs with six wickets in hand.

Bairstow shapes as being a pivotal figure if they are going to create history to record their highest fourth innings run chase.

Their biggest to date is 332/7 against the same opposition in Melbourne 89 years ago.

So, it is all to play for on a fascinating day five.

Topics:
Jonny Bairstow
Australia cricket
The Ashes
Cricket
England cricket

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