Australia captain Tim Paine denied the incident that involved teammate Matthew Wade and England captain Joe Root on the Day 3 of the fifth Ashes Test at The Oval on Saturday. Paine said the players were normally talking to each other and nothing more took place at that time. Matthew Wade and Joe Root both were involved in a chat as soon as Joe Root came to the crease to bat after England were 1 down for 54 runs in the 17th over of their second innings.
“The incident – Joe Root and Matthew Wade were talking to each other – there was nothing in it at all. I think we’ve been fantastic, I think both sides have played this series in good spirit. It’s competitive Test cricket and people are going to talk to each other,” said Paine.
“I don’t know why it’s such an issue – it’s fine. They are grown men having a conversation, no-one is swearing, no-one is abusing anyone. It’s Test match cricket, and I don’t understand why so much is made of something so little, particularly given the standard of cricket being played. I think there’s so much more to talk about,” Tim Paine said at the press conference after the game.
On the other hand, stump microphones also caught some of the conversations between England all-rounder Ben Stokes and the Aussies where someone mentioned “yeah, Bristol!”, a reference to the infamous incident that took place at a Bristol nightclub in 2017 and related to Stokes.
Stokes, on the other hand, later was heard calling David Warner a f*****g prick when they were walking off the field during the lunch break, as claimed by UK journalist Isabelle Westbury.
Lots of aggro on the field during that morning session and Stokes in particular not happy.
As he walked off he called David Warner "a fucking prick".#Ashes 👀
— Isabelle Westbury (@izzywestbury) September 14, 2019
England, however, were in a safe position after the third day of the game. Opener Joe Denly’s stable 94 put England in control and they took a lead of 382 runs. Alongside Denly, Ben Stokes made 67 at The Oval and kept the hope alive to level the series at 2-2.
Denly was also asked about the incident but he too didn’t talk much about this.
“It’s two very competitive teams playing in a pretty big series, and I think Matthew Wade is a very competitive player just trying to do his best for Australia. Of course there’s always going to be a bit of niggle out there, but nothing too over the line or anything like that. Just a bit of friendly banter,” Denly added.