European Central Bank to follow-up on Bairstow headbutt incident after Brisbane Test

Ponting and Swann bemused at England decision in wake of Ben Stokes absence

Joe Root’s England are on the brink of a crushing defeat in Brisbane

The clash between Bairstow and Bancroft comes four years after a bar-room scrap between David Warner and Joe Root preceded an Ashes series in England.

Sportsmail understands that ECB's highly respected security advisor Reg Dickason, on red alert after the punch-up outside a Bristol bar in September that led to Stokes being accused of causing actual bodily harm, was at The Avenue bar in Perth with the players and was happy that no bad behaviour had occurred.

The England and Wales Cricket Board says it has spoken to England wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow after claims about an alleged incident involving Australia's Cameron Bancroft.

"On this occasion Bairstow made light contact with the side of Bancroft's head although sources have suggested it was part of a greeting the England wicketkeeper uses with friends at home", wrote Hoult.

It has been believed that Bairstow headbutted Bancroft at a bar in Perth earlier this month.The incident happened a few weeks earlier when the visitors were in Perth for their opening warm-up match. "Following an initial conversation with Jonny Bairstow tonight we understand the context and will follow up with England players and management after the Brisbane Test", ECB spokesman said in a statement.

At the time, Bancroft was not really in serious contention to make the Ashes squad.

The comments were picked up by the stump microphone and later reported by Australia's Fox television, leading to an investigation by England at the close of a chastening penultimate day of a thrilling first Test.

The 35-year-old was backed by the English media who argued the reports were simply trying to stir the pot with no facts behind them.

Bairstow was reportedly quick to apologise after the incident, and there is no police involvement or official complaints.

The incident took place outside the Avenue Hotel in Perth when England were in town to play a 2-day practice match against Australia XI.

It's understood the incident was raised on the field during the Ashes opener in Brisbane.

But he was one of three England players fined by the European Central Bank in the wake of a night out in Bristol that saw Ben Stokes arrested for alleged assault.

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