‘Smith, Warner ready to face English fans’

‘Smith, Warner ready to face English fans’

LONDON: Australia coach Justin Langer believes no amount of crowd abuse Steve Smith and David Warner may receive while on tour in England can compare to what they’ve already experienced while serving year-long bans for ball-tampering.

The star batsmen are back in the Australia fold ahead of a lengthy tour of England which includes both the World Cup and Ashes series.

Warner was widely seen as the instigator in the “sandpapergate” scandal during a Test against South Africa in Cape Town that saw novice opener Cameron Bancroft — banned for nine months — deliberately trying to alter the condition of the ball in the field while then captain Smith turned a blind eye.

But having witnessed the angry reaction in Australia to Smith and Warner´s conduct, Langer said it would be hard to imagine any English taunts could be worse.

“Well we can’t control the crowd. What I do know? It may heat up, but it won´t be any hotter than it was 12 months ago,” said Langer at an Australia training session on Saturday.

“I’ve never seen anything like it so the boys are very well prepared,” added the former Australia opener, who took over as coach after predecessor Darren Lehmann resigned in the aftermath of the scandal.

“They’ve paid a heavy price and we’re expecting always to come here and to face the fire and we’re ready for that.”

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