‘How close was it to a headbutt on a 1-to-10 basis?’ The Ashes provides very odd press conference

Australia’s Ashes opener Cameron Bancroft was a man in demand after the first Test in Brisbane as he answered questions about a 'headbutt' greeting to him from England wicketkeeper-batsman Jonny Bairstow at a bar in Perth at the end of October.

Here are the questions posed to Bancroft on the subject, and his responses.

Cameron, well done on the innings. But can you talk us through the incident, from what you remember?

Bancroft: "I remember it very clearly. We'd just won a Shield game for WA (Western Australia). One of our values is celebrating success, so we were, as a team. That coincided with the English team arriving in Perth for the tour game. It was very friendly mingling the whole night. Some of the players knew some of the English players, and as the night progressed it was great to be able to meet some of those guys.

"I got into a very amicable conversation with Jonny, and... yeah, like, he just, um, just greeted me with... just... a headbutt kind of thing. I was expecting a handshake. It wasn't the greeting of choice that I was expecting. That was the way I took it. There was certainly no malice in his action, and we continued on having a very good conversation for the rest of the evening."

Did he apologise to you that night or subsequently?

"At the time, he said sorry. For me personally, it was just... really weird. It was so random, and I certainly didn't expect it coming. As I said, a handshake or a hug would have been something that I probably expected more than a headbutt. But as I said, there was certainly nothing malicious about his action. I just took it as: 'Yeah, I don't know Jonny Bairstow, but he says hello to people very differently to most others'. We got along for the rest of the night quite well. I've let it go and moved on from it. It was fine."

Sorry, Cameron. I realise this probably sounds a bit ridiculous. Did he head-butt you like that (motions headbutt), forward? Or (motions glancing head to the side)? We can't actually work (it out).

"Just... I dunno. Whatever your imagination pictures it as, is probably what it would be."

Because when we imagine a headbutt, we imagine... (motions headbutt) knocking someone over, you know?

"No, he didn't knock me over. I've actually got the heaviest head in the Western Australia squad. It's been measured. There's an actual measurement for it. So yeah, I just took the blow quite well and moved on from it. Yeah, it was a good hit. Play on."

Trevor Bayliss said that it was a long way from being a headbutt. He said there's a headbutt, and there's what happened to you. So could you perhaps define, maybe on a one-to-10 basis, how close it was to a headbutt?

"He connected with ... with my head. With a force that would make me think: 'Wow, that's a bit weird.' And that was it."

Where was it? Was it the top of his head hitting you in the nose?

"Well, headbutts clash with heads, and when he made the decision to do that, our heads collided.

Whereabouts? ... A headbutt, it can break your nose. It can put you in hospital. So where did the top of his head hit yours?

"Yeah, it hit my head. Yeah. Hit me there. (Taps his forehead). Forehead. There you go."

Cameron, you've made your Test debut for Australia. Is this how you envisaged your first press conference going?

"Uh, not really, no. But look, it's all good humour, isn't it? I'll look back on this one day and it'll be a dot in my life. We'll live and learn and move on."


More in this Section

Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United signings

Transport police interrupt alleged anti-Semitic chanting on Brighton train

Gary Neville: New Man Utd boss must meet three key principles of club

5 contenders for Manchester United job


Lifestyle

Making Cents: Planning for your financial future

Dive right in for Christmas swim in aid of a good cause

In the frame during a big year for comics

Musical theatre review: Les Miserables

More From The Irish Examiner