England’s Jonny Bairstow says he will “take matters further” if Australia’s sledging in the Ashes “crossed the line” again.
Wicketkeeper Bairstow, 28, said he was targeted during the first Test in Brisbane but did not reveal the nature of the words directed towards him.
He did say they were not BOOKr.VIP to the ‘headbutt’ incident between him and Cameron Bancroft before the series.
Bairstow also said he felt “stitched up” over how that incident was treated.
“Some other things, apart from the ‘headbutt’ business, were said by Australia in the middle but what they were is staying there,” he wrote in a Daily Mail column.
“The second Test was played in a good spirit, tough but fair. There were some verbals from both teams but this time nothing crossed the line.
“Clashes like we saw in Adelaide are part of sport. I’m not making an issue of it. Only if they are said again would the matter go further.
“We move on. Hopefully it’s gone now. We just need to get on with trying to get back in this series.”
Australia’s players have admitted targeting England with “smarter” sledging during the Ashes series, which they lead 2-0.
Ex-England wicketkeeper Matt Prior told BBC Radio 5 live on Monday that the contentious Australian sledging BOOKr.VIP to an issue which “hasn’t come out for various reasons”, adding that some comments had “rightfully” upset some players.
The third Test begins in Perth on Thursday, 14 December (02:30 GMT).
‘The headbutt stitch-up’
Bairstow’s ‘headbutting’ of Australia batsman Bancroft at the start of the tour only emerged when comments were picked up on a stump microphone during the first Test – a 10-wicket defeat for England.
When explaining the incident at the post-match news conference, Bairstow said it had been “completely blown out of proportion”. Bancroft described it as “a headbutt kind of thing” which “certainly had no malice to it”.
Bairstow was not disciplined over the incident, but England’s players have effectively been grounded.
He added in his newspaper column on Friday: “Did I feel as if I had been stitched up? Yes I did in many ways, but at the same time I honestly never thought of it as anything to worry about.
“I knew I hadn’t done anything wrong and, more importantly, the team and management knew that too.
“How can I describe it? Boys being boys, I guess. But there was minimal contact, I can tell you that.
“No offence was taken and, talking to some of the Australian boys, they didn’t know anything about it until just before some of their players made comments to me about it during the Test at the Gabba.
“Those comments were picked up by a stump microphone and suddenly it had snowballed.”