United Kingdom Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and his Australian counterpart Anthony Albanese traded banter over the ongoing Ashes series in a lighthearted meeting on the sidelines of the NATO summit in Lithuania. The respective country's leaders have been keenly following the high-voltage clash and stood up for their teams over the contentious stumping row at Lord's.
Albanese presented Sunak with a piece of paper that had the current Ashes scoreline of 2-1 in Australia's favour. Sunak hit back with a photo of Mark Wood and Chris Woakes celebrating England's win in the 3rd Ashes Test at Headingley after the latter hit the winning runs.
Albanese went on to pull out a photo of Jonny Bairstow's stumping at Lord's before saying, 'I was going to be really provocative'. Sunak came up with another witty response, saying 'I’m sorry I didn’t bring my sandpaper with me', referring to Australia's ball-tampering saga of 2018.
Sunak also took to his official Twitter handle and wrote, 'I promised Anthony Albanese I’d give him one of our ministerial folders. Naturally it came with a little reminder of last weekend … two more to go."
England face must-win situations at Old Trafford and the Oval:
After making it 2-1 at Headingley, England have a further two more Tests to win as they aim to clinch their first Ashes series since 2015. The hosts carried out three changes for the 3rd Ashes Test, with Wood and Woakes playing pivotal roles in their victory.
Wood was also crowned the Player of the Match for his 7 wickets and invaluable cameos in both innings. Woakes' unbeaten 32 was equally critical as it saved England from 171-6 at one stage, needing another 80 to win.