Tue. Sep 29th, 2020

Steve Smith says he’ll miss being jeered and heckled by English crowds

Steve Smith was given a torrid time by the crowds when he visited England in 2019, his first trip since a return from a ban for his part in the infamous ball-tampering incident.

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Australia batsman Steve Smith said he’ll miss being jeered and heckled by English crowds during their upcoming tour, claiming the booing motivates him to do better.

Smith was given a torrid time by the crowds when he visited England in 2019, his first trip since a return from a ban for his part in the infamous sandpaper ball-tampering incident at Newlands in 2018.

Steve Smith says he’ll miss being jeered

The jibes did little to throw him off though as he stood tall during the 2019 Ashes helping Australia retain the urn. Smith scored 774 runs in four Tests, at an average 110.57, including centuries in both innings on his Test return at Edgbaston.

“I do like batting there [England], unfortunately there’s going to be no crowd there to egg me on and give me a bit more motivation,” he said at Sydney airport en route to Perth, from where the team will fly to England.

“Still, there’s going to be plenty of eyes on the TV and it is going to be great to be back out there playing.”

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Australia’s Steve Smith bats during the 2019 Cricket World Cup warm up match between England and Australia. Photo: Glyn KIRK / AFP

Australian players have begun training for their upcoming domestic season but have yet to resume competitive play.

Smith said the health protocols in place and other measures will make the experience somewhat surreal but he is relishing the prospect of playing again.

“I’m looking forward to getting back into it, obviously it’s going to be a bit different than what we’re used to being in a bubble and playing with no crowds,” Smith said.

“That presents a challenge in itself, but one we’re looking forward to.

“We’re lucky to be able to go and play, we’ll just do what we need to and play it day by day, stick together as a bunch and help each other out,” the former captain added.

Smith looks set to feature heavily in the series that should open with him playing just his third T20I in England, the place where he notched his highest score in the format.

Australia tour to England: fixtures

4 September: 1st T20, The Rose Bowl, Southampton

6 September: 2nd T20, The Rose Bowl, Southampton

8 September: 3rd T20, The Rose Bowl, Southampton

11 September: 1st ODI, Old Trafford, Manchester

13 September: 2nd ODI, Old Trafford, Manchester

16 September: 3rd ODI, Old Trafford, Manchester

Australia’s T20 and ODI squad: Aaron Finch (c), Sean Abbott, Ashton Agar, Alex Carey, Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Riley Meredith, Josh Philippe, Daniel Sams, Kane Richardson, Steven Smith, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, Andrew Tye, Matthew Wade, David Warner, Adam Zampa.

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