Brisbane - New Australian Test opener Cameron Bancroft
described a headbutt greeting by Jonny Bairstow as "weird" on Monday as
bizarre details emerged of the late-night incident during England's Ashes tour.
The wash-up of Australia's thumping 10-wicket win over
England in the first Test in Brisbane was dominated by questions about the
incident involving England's wicketkeeper and Bancroft in a Perth bar late last
month, which only came to light over the weekend.
There is sensitivity within the England camp about off-field
behaviour given the controversy surrounding suspended star all-rounder Ben
Stokes, who is facing a police inquiry into a fight outside a Bristol nightclub
Bancroft was matter-of-fact about their coming together.
"I got into a very amicable conversation with Jonny and
he just greeted me with a headbutt," the Australian opener told a
post-match media conference, calling it "weird".
"I was expecting a handshake. It wasn't the greeting of
choice that I was expecting," a dead-pan Bancroft added. "We got
along for the rest of the night quite well and I let it go and moved on it from
it, it was fine."
Bairstow, whose actions were slammed as dumb by team coach
Trevor Bayliss, faced reporters to make a short statement but took no
The England wicketkeeper said the incident was blown out of
"We were in the bar having a good laugh and a good
evening out, it was very enjoyable. Cameron (Bancroft) and I enjoyed the evening
and continued to do so," Bairstow said.
"There was no intent, nor malice about anything during
the evening. As you could see out there today (in the Test) there was no
animosity between myself, Cameron and any other of the Australia players."
Bairstow said it was time "we move on from there",
but an irritated Bayliss expressed his disappointment, saying it gave the
Australian team ammunition to put undue pressure on England.
"There was absolutely no malice in it. Are we
disappointed that some small incident gets blown up and put in the press and
bought up? Yes," the England coach said.
"I am sure the will be further discussion between
myself, management and the players."
England skipper Joe Root also played down the incident,
saying it was "a bit of joshing around - boyish behaviour".
Australian captain Steve Smith said his team had used the
incident to help get Bairstow out for 42 in England's second innings of the
"It was basically about trying to get Jonny off his
game, to be honest with you," Smith said.
"And I think it worked, with the way he got out. He got
caught at third man playing a pretty ordinary stroke. We were just trying to
get in his head and it happened to work."