Categories: FeaturesNews

SA vs AUS: Australia return to face South African crowd

Australia have been on a charm offensive ahead of Friday’s first Twenty20 international against South Africa at the Wanderers Stadium, a ground renowned for being among the most intimidating in the world.

The match will be Australia’s first in South Africa since the infamous “Sandpaper-gate” tour of 2018 and will mark the return in front of South African crowds of former captain Steve Smith and opening batsman David Warner, both banned for a year for their role in the scandal.

The Wanderers ‘bullring’ is likely to be packed to its capacity of just under 30 000. It is a noisy venue and especially so when Australia are the opposition. But all opposition teams are regarded as fair game.

As recently as last month, England’s Ben Stokes was provoked into swearing at a rowdy spectator after he was dismissed during the fourth Test against South Africa.

In the lead up to the match, the Australians have been at pains to say how much they enjoy playing in South Africa, while Smith tweeted that a visit to a Soweto school for children with special needs was a “humbling experience”.

Smith told journalists that he expected to be targeted by the crowd.

“They are hostile at the best of times here,” he said.

Noisy spectators didn’t bother him when he was batting and he said he was looking forward to hearing the crowd when he was fielding.

“Then again it’s just words, it doesn’t affect me,” he said.

“I think I will be doing some outfielding so I’m looking forward to it. I will smile and laugh and play along and have fun.”

Coach Justin Langer said on arrival that touring England last year was a “great dress rehearsal” for Smith and Warner, saying the pair had let their bats do the talking in response to hostile crowds.

“Hopefully they’ll be looking forward to getting back into it and playing good cricket here,” he said.

Captain Aaron Finch said Australia would “play cricket with a smile on our face” and that Warner enjoyed “banter” coming from the crowd. “It gets him into the game,” he said.

Jacques Faul, acting chief executive of Cricket South Africa, has asked fans to “respect” the Australians and warned that unruly spectators could be ejected from the ground. (AFP)


Comments are closed.

Recent Posts

Scotland stun Bangladesh in the opening day of T20 World Cup 2021

Chris Greaves enjoyed the performance of a lifetime as he inspired Scotland to a shock six-run victory over Bangladesh in…

4 hours ago

Twitter erupts as Scotland produce a huge upset; Bangladesh go down by 6 runs

Scotland were off to a poor start with the bat, losing skipper Kyle Coetzer in the third over. Runs came…

4 hours ago

Yuvraj Singh arrested for caste-based remark on India spinner; released on interim bail

Former India all-rounder Yuvraj Singh was arrested in Haryana and then released on interim bail following his caste-based remark on…

5 hours ago

WATCH: Street-smart Scotland spinner Mark Watt bowls from behind wicket to confuse batter

Scotland spinner Mark Watt produced a moment of innovativeness while bowling against Bangladesh in their opening group game of the…

6 hours ago

Mohammad Amir promises to help Nida Dar after Pakistan women’s team cricketer faces cheating worth 5 lakh

Coming to learn of the sad news of Pakistan women's team allrounder Nida Dar getting cheated off an amount worth…

8 hours ago

Shakib Al Hasan overtakes Lasith Malinga to become the leading T20I wicket-taker

Bangladesh all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan overtook Sri Lanka's Lasith Malinga on Sunday to become the highest wicket-taker in Men's T20…

8 hours ago