How A Simple Side-Eye Emoji Sent Warney Into A Massive Spin
After the thrilling Headingley Test, you hoped that sport would be the real winner, and that the post-match banter would be civilised.
You hoped in vain.
Inevitably, some of the chatter between former players after the thrilling third Ashes Test at Headingley has had a nasty edge to it.
Today's outbreak of venom started with Matt Prior, an accomplished former England wicket keeper/batsman who originally hailed from South Africa.
And it didn't take a single word. Just a side eye emoji and a hashtag or two.
But why would Prior take a dig at Australia's record-breaking off-spinner?
Well, Lyon was the centre of Australia's bungled attempts to win a match they should never have lost. First, he fumbled a simple run-out. Then he had Stokes plumb LBW, but the appeal was rejected, and Australia had run out of reviews.
And the ill-feeling from Prior goes back to a feisty interview Lyon gave ahead of the 2017/18 Ashes in Australia, when he said Australia was ready to "end careers".
Lyon took a special dig at Prior in that interview, saying he tried to get out of the final two Tests of the previous Ashes tour because he was "scared" -- as in, scared of Aussie pace ace Mitchell Johnson.
So there's your context. That's why the side-eye. Prior, who'd been sledged by Lyon two years ago, was clearly enjoying his pain. This is where Shane Warne stepped in.
Warne was actually pretty reasonable in his Twitter comment. He basically said "hey, let's celebrate the cricket, not re-open old wounds".
But Prior wanted to keep fighting.
Anyway, eventually others got dragged into the conversation, as always happens with this sort of thing, and Warney ended up mercilessly putting down a former England cricketer of very minor repute.
And when Shane Warne calls you a dribbler and a "club cricketer", that's about as bad as an insult gets. Chris Adams, you have in every sense been Warned.
So hey, nobody wanted things to head this way. But at least, unlike the Headingley Test, the banter battle was a narrow victory for Australia.