Ashes 2023 reaches new heights of excitement when the United Kingdom Primer Minister Rishi Sunak engaged in jibe with his Australian counterpart Anthony Albanese on Tuesday, July 11. Sunak fueled the cricket rivalry further as he reminded Albanese infamous sandpaper gate scandal that happened five years ago.
Sunak and Albanese met each other during the 2023 Vilnius Nato Summit on Wednesday and turned the occasion into a sporting contest. First, the Australian PM represented Sunak with a photo of the current scoreline of Australia's leading the Ashes 2023 by 2-1. Sunak also pulled off a picture of Mark Wood and Chirs Woakes celebrating a comeback win at the Headingley Test.
Then Albanese took the contest to the next level by teasing Sunak with Jonny Bairstow's controversial dismissal by Alex Carey in Lord's Test and said, "I was going to be really proactive". That picture clearly triggered UK PM who jokingly reminded Albanese Australia's involvement in the infamous sandpaper gate scandal in 2018. Sunak said, "I'm Sorry I didn't bring my sandpaper with me."
English media and fans felt cheated by Bairstow's dismissal in Lord's. Many former cricketers brought up the topic of 'rules over the spirit of cricket' and hit back at the Australian cricket team for not withdrawing their decision.
Sunak also felt that there was a break between overs when the English wicketkeeper left his mark to join Ben Stokes at the other end. "The PM agrees with Ben Stokes who said he simply wouldn't want to win a game in the manner Australia did,' Mr Sunak's official spokesman had said after the incident.
Meanwhile, on the pitch, both Australia and England are producing their best to make it one of the most talked-about Ashes series. With a 2-1 lead, Australia remain favorites to clinch the famous trophy while England will be boosted with extra motivation with their Headingly win ahead of the fourth Test match in Manchester starting on July 19.