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Warner, Smith booed by crowd in World Cup warm-up match

Last updated on: May 25, 2019 21:13 IST

The duo returned to international duty earlier this month after completing one-year bans for their involvement in a ball-tampering scandal in a Test match in South Africa

Steve Smith

IMAGE: Steve Smith celebrates after completing his century against England during the World cup warm-up match in Southampton. Photograph: Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Australian batsmen David Warner and Steve Smith were booed and heckled by the crowd in their warm-up game against England in Southampton on Saturday, ahead of the World Cup beginning next week.

 

Warner and Smith returned to international duty earlier this month after completing one-year bans for their involvement in a ball-tampering scandal in a Test match in South Africa. The duo's ban ended on March 29.

There were scattered boos when opening batsman Warner walked out to bat along with captain Aaron Finch in the warm-up match after Australia lost the toss.

A spectator was heard shouting "Get off Warner you cheat".

There were more boos as Warner walked off after being dismissed for 43 to be replaced by Smith, coming in with Australia 82 for two in the 17th over.

There were a few chants of "cheat, cheat, cheat" when Smith arrived, although a lone Australia fan shouted back "Get 'em Stevie!", according to BBC.

But when Smith reached his fifty, the applause outweighed the boos but the jeers were very much audible. He was booed again when he reached his century in the 48th over.

Asked about the boos after the Australian innings, Smith said, "I am pretty chilled, everyone is entitled to their opinion. I am just happy to be back playing and doing a job for my team. I fortunately was able to contribute for the team."

The disgraced duo's first match in England was a hastily arranged, unofficial warm-up match against the West Indies in Southampton on Wednesday. But that fixture was played in front of fewer than 30 spectators, whereas there were several thousands at this venue on Saturday.

Reigning World champions Australia are set to be in England for more than four months in a tour featuring both the World Cup and a five-Test Ashes series.

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