The Ashes 2021: Jonny Bairstow & Ben Stokes react angrily to weight jibe sledge

  • Pete Syme

Jonny Bairstow finally gave the Barmy Army something to cheer about after scoring a century during the fourth Ashes Test on Friday.

But before he let his bat do the talking, Bairstow returned fire after he and Ben Stokes were subject to taunts about their weight in a sledge from the Aussie crowd.

Footage shared by The Sydney Morning Herald shows the Englishmen head up the steps to the dressing room in the SCG’s Members Pavilion, before a fan starts the abuse.

“Stokes, you’re fat,” the fan said as the pair left the playing area during the tea break.

Another member of the crowd then shouts: “Take your jumper off, Bairstow. Lose some weight, Bairstow.”

Stokes then pauses at the top of the steps to stare down the heckler while Bairstow replies to him.

“That’s right, just turn around and walk away,” he calls out, before labelling the fan “weak as p***."

Team director Ashley Giles is also seen in the footage, choosing not to intervene during the incident but giving Bairstow a pat on the back as they walk past.

The Bradford-born wicket-keeper-batsman also suffered a ball to the thumb from Pat Cummins when on 60.

He later told reporters: “I think it is important to stand up for ourselves because if we are not standing up for ourselves, you can cop it. When people overstep the mark, they need to be told.”

Three men were ejected from the stadium for the abuse.



“It would have been nicer if we were there giving it when we walked off at the end, wouldn’t it?” Bairstow said.

“Unfortunately, they weren’t there at the end, they missed the end of a fantastic day of Test cricket.”

England have already lost the Ashes at 3-0 down, but Stokes and Bairstow’s 128-run stand will have encouraged the team.

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