Close shave for Alex Carey as Australia bat away bizarre haircut accusation

Cricket Australia has been forced into a bizarre defence of Alex Carey after rumours that the wicketkeeper had breached ‘the spirit of cutting’ by failing to pay for a haircut.

Carey became public enemy number one among England fans at Lord’s last week when he controversially stumped Jonny Bairstow during the fifth-day run chase.

The dismissal was perfectly legal under the laws of the game, but England believe it was contrary to the unwritten ‘spirit of the game’ and Carey’s actions have divided opinion in the cricket world.

In a curious development during this week’s third Test at Headingley, former England captain Sir Alastair Cook told listeners on BBC’s Test Match Special that Carey had visited a barber in Leeds and been unable to to pay the bill after being told it was cash only.

Cook went on to suggest that a promise to settle the debt had not been fulfilled. CA has now moved to exonerate Carey, confirming to reporters that the 31-year-old has not had his hair cut since the World Test Championship final last month.

It is understood that some squad members did have a trim and when one was unable to pay in cash, he arranged to pay via international bank transfer. Sources close to the team have said a receipt is available and will be brought to the hairdresser to clear up any confusion.

An account attributed to Australia batter Steve Smith on social media network Threads backed up Carey’s innocence, adding “get your facts right”.