ECB respond to reports of Bairstow headbutt on Bancroft

Incident between batsmen reported to have taken place in a Perth bar four weeks ago

The ECB have spoken to Jonny Bairstow after reports emerged by headbutted Australian opener Cameron Bancroft. Photograph: Ryan Pierse/Getty

The ECB have spoken to Jonny Bairstow after reports emerged by headbutted Australian opener Cameron Bancroft. Photograph: Ryan Pierse/Getty

 

The England and Wales Cricket Board has spoken to Jonny Bairstow about allegations of a late-night altercation with Australia opener Cameron Bancroft.

Reports in Australia have claimed the England wicketkeeper headbutted Bancroft in a bar in Perth four weeks ago.

A brief ECB statement confirmed on Sunday night that management staff have asked Bairstow about the alleged incident and will revisit the matter once the first Test is concluded.

The statement was issued several hours after the end of the fourth day in Brisbane, where Bancroft made his debut and England are almost certainly about to go 1-0 down in the high-profile series.

It read: “At close of play in Brisbane today, we were made aware of allegations of an incident in Perth four weeks ago.

“There has been no report of any incident from the venue, security or police, and there was no injury reported.

“Following an initial conversation with Jonny Bairstow tonight, we understand the context and will follow up with England players and management after the Brisbane Test.”

The matter has arisen at a time of heightened awareness of the off-the-field behaviour of England players, following Ben Stokes’ arrest on suspicion of causing actual bodily harm during a fracas outside a Bristol nightclub in September.

Stokes remains at home, unavailable for England’s tour while he waits to find out if he will be charged by police.

Bairstow, meanwhile, was one of three players who were fined by the ECB last month and accepted formal written warnings for “unprofessional conduct — unrelated to the investigations into Ben Stokes and Alex Hales”.

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