Ashes 2017/18: Jonny Bairstow set to be investigated by ECB after allegedly headbutting Australian opener
England's Ashes campaign, which has just begun, already seems to be off the rails. Aside from the humbling they are currently receiving in the first Test at the Gabba, reports are emerging that wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow is being investigated following a late-night incident a few weeks ago.
According to reports from Fox Sports News, Bairstow allegedly headbutted Australian opening batsman Cameron Bancroft when the English side were in Perth ahead of the start of the series.
While the reports state that the ECB are currently investigating the incident, the board have neither confirmed nor denied the statements.
The incident reportedly occurred at the Avenue Bar in Perth ahead of England's warm-up game against Western Australia. Bairstow apparently made contact with the side of Bancroft's head but later apologised for his actions.
At the time, Bancroft was not really in serious contention to make the Ashes squad. However, he has since gone on to make his Test debut, and has involved himself in quite a duel with the England keeper. Moreover, Bairstow was sledged repeatedly during his innings, even receiving a send-off from David Warner.
“David Warner had a fair bit to say to him (after the dismissal),” Fox Sports News' Neroli Meadows explained. “We know that there’s plenty of sledging that goes on in the Ashes no matter what the circumstances.”
No police report has been filed as of yet and it remains to be seen if the incident will be reviewed by the ECB.
This comes just weeks after Ben Stokes's involvement in a brawl outside a bar in Bristol. The England all-rounder was caught on camera striking two men, including an ex-soldier, but not charged by the police. He was however dropped from the England squad that travelled to Australia and may miss the entire series altogether.
Interestingly, Bairstow was fined for his conduct in Bristol that night although he was not part of the brawl with Stokes
The incident at Perth also rekindles memories of the Warner-Joe Root controversy in which the Australian was suspended for punching Root at a bar.