Australia easily won the first Test of the Ashes by ten wickets but coverage of the final day’s action was dominated by what had happened off it four weeks ago in a Perth bar.
Fox Sports reported following the fourth day of the Test that England wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow had head-butted Australia’s Cameron Bancroft in a bar shortly after England had arrived Down Under for the Ashes.
Speaking on Monday – during a highly amusing four-and-a-half minutes of the post-match press conference – Bancroft explained what had happened between him and Bairstow (video of the press conference is below).
Bancroft had been celebrating a victory for Western Australia which coincided with the England team arriving in Perth. The two sides end up mingling in a bar.
Bancroft said that Bairstow greeted him with a clash of heads. He had expected the hello to come in another form.
I got into a very amicable conversation with Jonny, and… yeah, like, he just, urn, [chuckles] just greeted me with… just… a head-butt kind of thing. I was expecting a handshake. It wasn’t the greeting of choice that I was expecting. That was the way that I took it. There was certainly no malice in his action. And we continued on having a very good conversation for the rest of the evening.
Bancroft said that Bairstow did apologise.
“At the time, he said sorry. For me personally, it was just… really weird. It was so random, and I certainly didn’t expect it coming. As I said, a handshake or a hug would have been something that I probably expected more than a headbutt.
But as I said, there was certainly nothing malicious about his action. I just took it as: “Yeah, I don’t know Jonny Bairstow, but he says hello to people very differently to most others.”
We got along for the rest of the night quite well. I’ve let it go and moved on from it. It was fine.”
Bancroft’s answers did not provide enough information regarding the incident. Further clarification was required by the assembled media.
Absurdly, it resulted in Bancroft explaining that the clash did not hurt him as he has a very heavy head.
No, he didn’t knock me over. I’ve actually got the heaviest head in the Western Australia squad. It’s been measured. There’s an actual measurement for it. So yeah, I just took the blow quite well and moved on from it. Yeah, it was a good hit. Play on.
The Cricket Australia media officer ended the line of questioning by asking if anyone wanted to talk about the cricket.