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ICC World Cup 2019: Australians Asking Fans to Not Boo Smith & Warner is Strange: Bairstow

Reuters |June 24, 2019, 3:54 PM IST
ICC World Cup 2019: Australians Asking Fans to Not Boo Smith & Warner is Strange: Bairstow

Australians asking fans at the 2019 ICC World Cup to stop booing David Warner and Steve Smith was "a bit strange" as their former coach Darren Lehmann had once told supporters to jeer England's Stuart Broad, the hosts' batsman Jonny Bairstow has said.

Smith and Warner returned to Australia's one-day international setup prior to the World Cup after serving a 12-month ban for their roles in a ball-tampering scandal in South Africa last year and the two have faced hostile crowds since.

India's captain Virat Kohli came to Smith's defence when he was booed by a section of the Indian support during their World Cup match earlier this month.

"I've read that Justin Langer, the Australia coach, and Virat Kohli have asked supporters not to boo Steve Smith and Warner. I'm not sure that makes any difference," England opening batsman Bairstow wrote in a column for The Telegraph.

"The fans will react however they want, particularly in the Ashes (which begins on August 1 in Edgbsaton). It is a bit pointless pleading with them not to boo Smith or Warner."

Bairstow, who struck up an unlikely partnership with Warner in the IPL, said his fellow opener in the Sunrisers Hyderabad franchise was an "amazing cricketer" but that it was hypocritical to suggest he cannot be booed.

"There is a fine line as well. There was a time not that long ago when the then Australia coach, Darren Lehmann, was telling the Australia crowd to send Stuart Broad home crying," Bairstow said ahead of England's crunch World Cup match against Australia on Tuesday.

"I'm sure it was not meant maliciously but for Australians then to say 'do not boo these guys' is interesting. It has to work both ways, it can't just all be one way.

"I'm not saying it is right or wrong. But to have the mentality (that) 'we can do it to you, but you cannot do it to us' is a bit strange."

During the 2013 Ashes in England, Lehmann had accused Broad of "blatant cheating" when he refused to walk after edging a ball to slip and the former coach had called on fans to send the fast bowler home from the return Ashes series in tears.

"From my point of view I just hope the Australian public give it to him right from the word go for the whole summer and I hope he cries and he goes home," Lehmann had then said.

Cricket World Cup Points Table

Pos Team P W L T/NR PTS NRR
1
IND
9 7 1 1 15 +0.80
2
AUS
9 7 2 0 14 +0.86
3
ENG
9 6 3 0 12 +1.15
4
NZ
9 5 3 1 11 +0.17
5
PAK
9 5 3 1 11 -0.43
6
SL
9 3 4 2 8 -0.91
7
SA
9 3 5 1 7 -0.03
8
BAN
9 3 5 1 7 -0.41
9
WI
9 2 6 1 5 -0.22
10
AFG
9 0 9 0 0 -1.32

Team Rankings

Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 3631 113
2 New Zealand 2547 111
3 South Africa 2917 108
4 England 3663 105
5 Australia 2640 98
see more
Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 6420 123
2 India 6807 122
3 New Zealand 4763 113
4 Australia 5470 112
5 South Africa 5193 110
see more
Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 7365 283
2 England 4253 266
3 South Africa 4196 262
4 Australia 5471 261
5 India 7273 260
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