Ashes 2019: Australian Cricketers' Association condemns Lord's booing of Smith

By Sports Desk August 18, 2019

The Australian Cricketers' Association (ACA) has condemned sections of the Lord's crowd for jeering Steve Smith after the batsman sustained a blow to the neck in the second Ashes Test.

Having already taken a hit to his forearm which required treatment, Smith was forced to retire hurt when a short ball from Jofra Archer thumped into him just below the helmet.

Australia's former captain was clearly frustrated at having to cut short his innings on medical advice, though he came back out to bat later in the session. He was eventually dismissed by Chris Woakes for 92 as the visitors reached 250 all out in their first innings.

The 30-year-old was, in the main, warmly received when he left the pitch and also as he made his way back out to bat, though some boos could be heard on his return to the middle.

Smith, along with team-mates Cameron Bancroft and David Warner, has been booed by sections of the crowd during the ongoing Ashes series following the trio's involvement in the 2018 ball-tampering scandal.

The ACA, however, has criticised the behaviour in the case of Smith's injury, while also praising the protocols followed by Australia's medical staff.

"The overnight events at Lord's show the importance of the concussion protocols which have been developed in Australia over the last few years," a joint statement from ACA president Greg Dyer and chief executive officer Alistair Nicholson said.

"Administrators in Australia working with the ACA and now the ICC have done a good job in putting the protocols in place. Plainly, they are necessary to protect the players who are struck.

"This is a workplace for these players. The reality is that cricket can be a dangerous sport, especially when the bowling is as ferocious as it has been in this series.

"To see the protocols practiced at Lord's overnight was important and correct. What was unwelcome and incorrect was the sound of booing of an injured player.

"Cricket deserves much better than that. And Lord's, the home of cricket, deserves much better than that also. What we witnessed was bravery from an outstanding young man. It should be commended not vilified.

"Over the English summer, generally the crowds have been terrific and really added to the contest. But when someone is hurt, yet the boos continue, it's time to call 'enough'.

"At any rate, the players have already served the toughest penalties in the history of cricket. Surely it is time to move forward."

Smith's injury prompted immediate concern, with Australia coach Justin Langer acknowledging the incident brought back painful memories of Phillip Hughes' death.

"You never like seeing your players get hit like that," Langer told a news conference. "There's obviously some pretty rough memories of a blow like that. So there's no fun in it."

Australia opener Hughes died after being struck on the back of his neck during a Sheffield Shield game in November 2014.

Related items

  • PCB chairman Mani expects England and Australia to tour Pakistan PCB chairman Mani expects England and Australia to tour Pakistan

    Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Ehsan Mani is confident Australia and England will tour the country in the coming years as they prepare for a first Test on home soil since 2009.

    Pakistan face Sri Lanka - the last team to visit over a decade ago - on Wednesday in Rawalpindi, the opener in a two-game series that also includes a Test in Karachi.

    Mani insists Pakistan are not planning to play future series on neutral grounds, with England "very supportive" ahead of a possible tour.

    "We are due to play England in 2021-22 and we are in serious discussions with them about coming to Pakistan," Mani told ESPN Cricinfo.

    "So far, they've been very supportive, so I fully expect they will come and play their cricket in Pakistan. 

    "Similarly, Australia, their chief executive has been to Pakistan and he's gone back with a totally different perception from what he thought it was like."

    Pakistan Test captain Azhar Ali, meanwhile, has said the series opener against Sri Lanka is a huge moment for the country.

    "It's a moment to rejoice, not only for the players but the whole Pakistan nation," he said, in quotes reported by Sky Sports.

    "We had a tough series in Australia and the way we lost there was disappointing. Moving forward, we see this home series as an opportunity and advantage to turn things around.

    "We will try our best to fix our mistakes and improve wherever we had been lacking.

    "We have outstanding talent in our squad. They have potential and, if we implement it, results will be good."

  • Stokes confirms he is fit to bowl for England in South Africa Stokes confirms he is fit to bowl for England in South Africa

    Ben Stokes has revealed he should be fit to bowl during England's tour of South Africa after scans confirmed he had not sustained a knee injury.

    Stokes complained of a knee problem during the first day of England's second and final Test against New Zealand in Hamilton,.

    However, he did bowl 25 overs during the Test, which was drawn as England lost the series 1-0.

    The all-rounder - a star of England's Cricket World Cup and Ashes campaigns - has now confirmed he will be fit to bowl against the Proteas, with England's four-Test tour to begin on Boxing Day.

    "It's alright," Stokes told talkSPORT. "I got some scans when we got back [to] England and there's nothing really showing up on the MRI scans, which is good news.

    "I just need to toughen up I guess but it's alright and it's just treatment now. I will be fine to bowl [in South Africa]."

    After a difficult Ashes series and a poor performance with the bat in the first Test in New Zealand, Joe Root returned to form in style in Hamilton, scoring 226 in the first innings, and Stokes claimed he backed the England captain to hit a double century ahead of the tour.

    "Rooty is one of the best players in the world. He obviously went through a little bit of a dip in performance but that is natural, he’s human. The old saying is form is temporary and class is permanent," Stokes added.

    "It's obviously great for English cricket to see Joe go out in his last innings before a big tour and hopefully we can see Rooty scoring runs like he normally does.

    "Being Test captain is one of the toughest jobs and one of the most criticised and how people speak about you is dependent on how well the performances on the pitch individually and as a team.

    "It's unfair most of the time that when things don’t go well the captain gets it all. I actually called Joe to get a double hundred on day one of our first warm-up game to Rory Burns. I think I was stood at slip and I said, 'Joe is going to get a double hundred this tour'."

  • Masood thrilled for Test cricket to return to Pakistan Masood thrilled for Test cricket to return to Pakistan

    Shan Masood is relishing playing on home turf as Pakistan prepare to host their first Test match in over a decade.

    Pakistan welcome Sri Lanka to Rawalpindi on Thursday for the first of two Tests to round off 2019.

    It is the first time a Test will be played in Pakistan since the Sri Lanka team bus was attacked in Lahore in early 2009, with six policemen and two civilians killed.

    Pakistan head into the series on the back of a 2-0 defeat to Australia, but Masood believes a return home has buoyed the entire squad, with every player eager to perform at their best in what he says is a momentous moment for the country.

    "If you look at the best players in Test cricket, their home records are superior to away records," batsman Masood said.

    "You are more familiar with the atmosphere, the pitches, and enjoy crowd support, and that was one thing that was missing from Pakistan cricket.

    "Bringing Test cricket here is our biggest accomplishment. Test cricket as a whole suffered around the world, and in Pakistan, we've dedicated more to white-ball cricket. This is an opportunity for children in Pakistan to have a proper look at Test cricket.

    "They'll look at people like Azhar Ali, who scored a 300 and a double-century in Australia. They'll look at Asad Shafiq, who has scored hundreds all around the world.

    "We've got exciting pacers like Naseem Shah and Shaheen Shah Afridi. We've got Mohammad Abbas, who has been ranked number one in the world, and Yasir Shah, who has been the number one spinner in the world. Babar Azam is climbing up the Test rankings as well.

    "This is a chance for our young generation to finally watch their heroes and it was unfortunate that legends like Misbah-ul-Haq and Younis Khan couldn't play in their home grounds in the peak of their careers.

    "So I'm really excited, because I feel this will propel Pakistan as a generation and the future generations of this country to take up cricket. It's almost going to be like everyone is making their debuts, because we're all playing in Pakistan for the first time."

    The omens are good for Pakistan, with Sri Lanka having won just one of their last five Test series against them, though they did win 2-0 in their last encounter in 2017.

     

© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.