Australian opener Usman Khawaja has strongly criticized the behavior of members inside Lord’s Long Room during the second Ashes Test. The usually calm atmosphere turned hostile as members verbally abused the Australian players, resulting in the suspension of three members. Cricket Australia reported that players and staff were not only subjected to verbal abuse but also faced physical contact while making their way to lunch. Khawaja, offended by the allegations, confronted one of the members before security intervened and escorted the Australian players upstairs. Following Australia’s victory, Khawaja expressed his disappointment with the disrespectful behavior exhibited by some members, emphasizing that he expected better from them.
The Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) confirmed the suspensions and expressed their condemnation of the unacceptable behavior. The MCC acknowledged that the actions of a few members contradicted the values of the club and offered an apology to Cricket Australia. Australian captain Pat Cummins mentioned that someone from the MCC apologized for the members’ behavior and suggested that some may lose their memberships.
Former England captain Eoin Morgan, witnessing the confrontation, expressed his frustration and disbelief at the scenes in the Long Room, emphasizing the naivety surrounding Jonny Bairstow’s dismissal that triggered the incident. Khawaja defended the controversial decision and emphasized the role of the umpire in such situations, acknowledging the existence of gray areas in cricket.
The MCC issued an apology, stating that the Long Room is a unique and privileged space in cricket and that they have apologized to the Australian team. They also affirmed their commitment to deal with any member who did not adhere to the expected standards through their disciplinary processes. No one was ejected from the ground, and the incident did not recur when the players resumed the field in the afternoon session.