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Ashes 2019 | Got to be Better than That – Vaughan, McGrath Criticize Edgbaston Crowd

Cricketnext Staff |August 2, 2019, 11:18 AM IST
Ashes 2019 | Got to be Better than That – Vaughan, McGrath Criticize Edgbaston Crowd

Certain sections of the crowd at Edgaston have come under criticism from former cricketers for their behavior after Steve Smith scored a sensational century on the opening day of the first Ashes Test.

Making his return to the Test side for the first time since the Cape Town Test, the former captain was at the receiving end of a hostile reception from the Birmingham crowd when he walked out to bat. The same happened when openers David Warner and Cameron Bancroft had walked in earlier in the morning.

While the majority applauded and cheered Smith during his defiant innings to pull Australia out of trouble, boos were heard when the former skipper reached three figures and again when he walked off the ground after being dismissed for 144 at the end of the innings.

Speaking on the BBC, former England skipper Michael Vaughan and legendary Australian fast bowler Glenn McGrath said the boos for Smith, Warner and Bancroft were predictable, but the former asserted that the ones who continued to boo Smith despite produce an all-time great Ashes innings had crossed a line.

"When he strolls out at number four, I get the boos," Vaughan said. "But when someone like that gets a fifty and a hundred and then gets booed off the pitch, come on. We’ve got to be better than that.

"Sometimes you’ve just got to accept that greatness is in front of you. Today, I thought we saw one of the great, great Test innings."

McGrath added that it was disappointing from that particular section of the crowd but said that the players themselves had moved on from the scandal.

"You’d expect that at the start," he said. "It was always going to be built up and quite hostile and they were going to give (them) a hard time. We saw it in the World Cup.

"But it’s 16 months ago. People make mistakes, they paid the penalty and they’ve moved on. To see people boo him when he got a hundred, an exceptional innings, is a little bit disappointing. But that’s the way it goes."

Smith was booed by certain sections of the English crowd, during the two clashes against eventual champions England, and sometimes during the other group games as well. The former skipper was also booed by a section of the Indian crowd during their clash against Virat Kohli’s side. But the Indian captain was quick to correct the crowd and asked them to cheer Smith instead.

However, Smith insisted that he was unaffected by the noise.

"I know I've got the support of the boys in the room and, for me, that's all that really matters," he said at the post match press conference. "The Aussie supporters that were here, they were very loud today when I got to a hundred. It's great to have some Aussie support over here."

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