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Ashes 2017/18: George Bailey recollects his altercation with James Anderson

Manish Pathak
21 Nov 2017, 18:55 IST

George Bailey
Bailey pouches a catch to end Anderson's innings

What’s the story?

With the Ashes series approaching, there are plenty of stories doing the rounds about previous tours. Players are recollecting incidents on the field which sparked tensions.

One such incident took place at the Gabba during the first Test in the 2013 Ashes, when there was a confrontation between James Anderson and George Bailey. Famously, Michael Clarke stepped in and threatened to break Anderson's arm.

Bailey has come forward with his own version of the story which throws some light on the matter.

"I find the Barmy Army songs quite catchy, and they were belting out the Jimmy Anderson song," Bailey recalled for

"It just got caught in my head, and I was singing it as he was about to face up," he further added.

This did not go down too well with Anderson who shot back at Bailey, who was incidentally making his Test debut.

The details

Watch: The entire episode

"He asked whether I thought the Barmy Army would ever write a song about me," Bailey said. "I replied I didn't think they would, that I really liked the songs they already had in their repertoire, (and) what they brought to the game. "


"And then he said … out of everyone on the field, I was the one he'd most like to punch, which I thought was a bit rough; Davey Warner just hadn't drawn breath the whole time, and I thought, 'I've been quite friendly here'."

This is when captain Clarke stepped in to take control of the events and since he had Mitchell Johnson at his disposal, his words were caught on the mike.

"Get ready for a broken f***king arm", was what Clarke blared at Anderson.

Incidentally, Johnson banged the ball in short, Anderson fended at it and the ball lobbed up to Bailey who pouched it at short leg.

In case you didn’t know…

In many ways, the series of 2013 can safely be renamed Johnson's Ashes as the tearaway quick picked 37 wickets across the five Tests and instilled a sense of fear in the English batting.

His resurgence started during the second day of the first Test and ended only when he completed a memorable spell at Sydney to cap off a brilliant series.

England were annihilated 5-0 and Johnson marched into folklore.

Watch: Mitchell Johnson wreaks havoc

What’s next?

The first Ashes Test commences on November 23 and this series promises to be no different as the Australian bowlers have already issued warnings to England's batsmen to be wary of Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc.

Author’s take

The many stories which are resurfacing make the Ashes the best and perhaps the most awaited contest in cricket.

There is not an inch conceded, not an inch awarded and when two team clash full throttle, stories are made and characters moulded.

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