Picture Credit: Twitter

Picture Credit: Twitter

During a friendly encounter at the NATO summit in Lithuania, Australia Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak engaged in hilarious banter. Albanese playfully handed Sunak a note displaying the ongoing Ashes series scoreline of '2-1' as they posed for photographs. In response, Sunak produced a photo capturing the triumphant moment of English batsmen Mark Woods and Chris Woakes celebrating their victory in Leeds. In an effort to match Sunak's move, Albanese presented a photograph showcasing Bairstow's run-out incident during the second Test. 

This was a nod to recent controversy around the run out of Bairstow, which the UK PM was not happy about. It was all in good humour, however, which prompted Rishi Sunak to reply with “Didn’t bring my sandpaper”; a reference to a ball tampering scandal from 2018. UK Government sources told The Telegraph that neither was aware the other had brought a photograph to banter the other. 

Bairstow run out causes controversy, invites criticism

During the second Ashes Test at Lord's, Bairstow mistakenly walked out of his crease, leading to his stumping as he believed the over had concluded. This run-out incident triggered the UK Prime Minister's ire, prompting him to express his frustration on Twitter. Additionally, the occurrence fueled derogatory comments towards the Australian team from certain members of the Marylebone Cricket Club, which resulted in multiple suspensions. Prime Minister Albanese also took to Twitter to respond to the situation, tweeting, “Same old Aussies, always winning”; a cheeky rendition of British chants that go “Same old Aussies, always cheating.” 

According to a spokesperson for UK PM Rishi Sunak, he expressed unease with the playing style of the Australian team. The spokesperson stated, "The Prime Minister shares Ben Stokes' sentiment, stating that he wouldn't want to win a game in the same manner as Australia did." When questioned about whether the Prime Minister planned to draw political inspiration from England's comeback in the Ashes, a source responded, "If you possess the belief, the right team, and the appropriate tactics, there are no limits to what you can achieve."