Australia’s David Warner and Steve Smith were both booed on Saturday in their first warm-up match against England following a year-long ban for ball-tampering in what could be a sign of things to come during the upcoming ICC Cricket World Cup.
There were scattered boos when Warner walked out to bat at the Hampshire Bowl ground in Southampton yesterday. And when the left-hander arrived at the crease, one fan shouted: “Get off, Warner, you cheat.”
There were more boos as Warner walked off and was replaced by Smith. There were a few chants of “cheat, cheat, cheat” as Smith walked in although a lone Australia fan shouted: “Get ‘em Stevie!”
But when Smith reached his century, the applause outweighed the boos but the jeers were very much audible.
Like many others, former England cricketer Michael Vaughan also reacted to the incident. Through Twitter, he has asked fans to stop booing against Warner and Smith.
— Michael Vaughan (@MichaelVaughan) May 25, 2019
England all-rounder Moeen Ali, on the other hand, appealed to fans to not get personal with their chants against the duo. “I really hope they don’t get too much stick. I want them to enjoy the series. If you have to, keep it funny, not personal,” Ali said. “We all make mistakes. We are human beings and we have feelings. I know deep down they are probably really good people. I just hope they get treated decently. I just want the cricket to be spoken about.”