On Day 4 of the second Ashes Test, former Australia skipper Steve Smith suffered a nasty blow on his neck at Lord’s. For a moment, it reminded everyone of the fatal injury that had cost Phil Hughes his life.
It was a Jofra Archer bouncer that had caused Smith to fall on the ground, followed by a section of the English crowd booing him.
The in-form right-handed batsman had already received a hostile reception from the crowd, reminding him of the ball-tampering scandal. But the act of mercilessly booing him at such a sensitive moment, has invited significant criticism from many ex-international cricketers.
“It was disgusting,” Ian Healy was quoted as saying by AAP. “Lord’s won’t be happy with that either. They don’t like any ‘yobbo’ element of crowd behaviour.”
Shane Warne, during commentary, said, “Just get up, clap and say that’s courageous, very brave.”
Smith received a standing ovation when he left the ground. Most people in the crowd also stood up and applauded when he returned to bat at the crease. But some Team England supporters again chose to boo the batsman.
Australia coach Justin Langer spoke up and stated that nothing could change the situation.
“What can I say? … I’ve spoken enough about the boos, there’s nothing we can do about the boos,” Langer said.
“There are also a lot of people standing and applauding him,” he added.
Former England captain couldn’t hold himself back from tweeting –
“I get the pantomime of @stevesmith49 arrival to the crease and the booing but please stop booing once he plays with great skill, courage and incredible discipline !!! he deserves a standing ovation for that innings … #Ashes #Lords”
I get the pantomime of @stevesmith49 arrival to the crease and the booing but please stop booing once he plays with great skill,courage and incredible discipline !!! he deserves a standing ovation for that innings … #Ashes #Lords
— Michael Vaughan (@MichaelVaughan) August 17, 2019
Commentator and former Australian Women’s Cricket Team skipper Lisa Sthalekar also shared her thoughts on Twitter.
“Sorry you cannot boo Smith after being hit and coming back on!! Are they F🤬 kidding #Ashes,” she tweeted.
Sorry you cannot boo Smith after being hit and coming back on!! Are they F🤬 kidding #Ashes
— Lisa Sthalekar (@sthalekar93) August 17, 2019
Meanwhile, fans worldwide slammed the English booers as well.
Here are a few no-nonsense, aggressive tweets –
So Steve Smith scores back to back centuries and is returning to the field on 80, having retired hurt hit in the neck … and a significant chunk of the LORDS crowd boo him. Equal parts pathetic and appalling IMO.
— Adam Spencer (@adambspencer) August 17, 2019
People booing in this situation really need to get a life, and get out of Lords to be honest.
— Trent Copeland (@copes9) August 17, 2019
People booing Steve Smith after getting a 90mph+ ball to the back of the head?? Get a fucking grip, people die from injuries like that #Ashes
— Jordan Aylward (@J_Aylward) August 17, 2019
Some English players and crowds are laughing at smiths injury,this is the reason I hate English people #Ashes
— diamondboy (@lokendradc3) August 17, 2019
Remember England fans no one booed Trott for leaving the tour midway in Aus because he was depressed
— Varun (@wizardrincewind) August 17, 2019
— Taha Jatt (@Tahajatt13) August 17, 2019