The Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) is an organization that says it is in charge of “guarding the laws of cricket.” Its website has a part about the “spirit” of the sport.
In it, the MCC talks about how the sport should be played with respect. For example, “Respect your captain, teammates, opponents, and the power of the umpires… “Create a good environment by how you act, and encourage others to do the same,” and “Be self-disciplined, even when things go wrong.”
The MCC owns Lord’s Cricket Ground, which is known as the “home of cricket.” On Sunday, the “spirit” of the sport didn’t seem to be there.
On day five of the second Test in the 2023 Ashes series between England and Australia, England’s batter Jonny Bairstow was sent off in a way that many people didn’t agree with. This made things tense.
Bairstow walked down the wicket thinking the over was over, but Australian wicketkeeper Alex Carey threw the ball at the stumps, and the England batter had to be given out.
Even though it wasn’t against the rules of cricket, many people, including many inside Lord’s, thought it went against the spirit of the game.
Many fans at Lord’s, who are usually seen as friendly and smart, booed the Australian team for the rest of the bad-tempered game. Some even chanted, “Same old Aussies, always cheating.”
Then, these feelings of being wronged came out in the Long Room, which is probably the most important part of Lord’s and the MCC.
The Long Room is one of the most unique places in sports. It is a room full of MCC members that both teams’ players have to walk through to get to the playing area from their changing rooms.
Videos from Sunday showed that members booed and yelled “cheats” at the Australian players as they walked through the Long Room at lunch to get to their changing room. Usually, this is a place where the loudest response are applause or cheers, for both the home and away teams.
Usman Khawaja, the Australian opener, was seen talking to some of the other players before security stepped in. Later, he told Cricadda, “Some of what the members were saying was really disappointing.”
“I didn’t want to just do nothing, so I talked to a few of them. Some of them were making some pretty big claims, so I told them they were wrong.
Just before the stairs to the team’s dressing room, the insults kept coming. Batter Matt Renshaw was seen pointing and laughing at an MCC member who was insulting the team.
Cricket Australia said in a statement that members of the team were “verbally abused and some were touched physically as they went to lunch through the members area.”
The MCC said in a statement that it “unreservedly apologized” to the Australian team. It later said that it had suspended three of its members who were involved in the fights and banned them from Lord’s while a review is done.
“We still believe that the behavior of a small number of members was completely unacceptable, and even though Pat Cummins, Australia’s captain, didn’t say there was a physical fight in the press conference after the game, it is still against the values of the Club to act in such a way,” the statement said.
“MCC condemns the behavior we saw, and we apologize to Cricket Australia again and again.” We are very upset that we have to talk about bad behavior when, as Pat Cummins himself said, the Long Room is known for being “really welcoming.” It has been an exciting day to end a great five-day Test cricket match.”
Australia’s captain, Cummins, talked to the reporters after his team won by 43 runs and went up 2-0 in the best-of-five Test series. He said that the way the MCC members treated his team was different from how they treated them in the past.
He said, “I don’t think it hurts any more than usual.” “I think the standards that the members hold themselves to are probably a little bit different from what you might expect from, say, some parts of the crowd at Edgbaston.”
As the real home of cricket, Lord’s and, by extension, the MCC are known for being bastions of grace and kindness. They are in charge of writing the rules of the game, and there is a 29-year waiting list to become a member of the MCC.