Sydney: Britain’s Sports Minister Nigel Adams has labelled booing of Australia’s batsman Steven Smith in the second Test match (Ashes) at Lord’s Cricket Ground as ‘distasteful’.
“The vast majority of the Lord’s crowd were on their feet applauding Steve Smith after his innings but a small amount of booing from a tiny element of the crowd has made the news,” Sydney Morning Herald quoted Adams as saying.
“It’s distasteful and we have to remember that the Aussie players who got themselves into trouble have been punished and done the time,” he added.
Smith had to deal with two blows on day four of the match. First, he was struck on the elbow by Jofra Archer and soon after he got a hit on the neck by a bouncer from the pacer.
Physios from both England and Australia attended to Smith, but the batsman had to leave the park to undergo a concussion test. A while later, the batsman made his way back to the crease, but a section of England crowd was seen booing the player.
On the final day of the Test match, Cricket Australia released a statement that Smith had suffered a delayed concussion and as a result, he was ruled out of day five of the second Test.
Marcus Labuschagne was named as the concussion substitute in place of Smith.
“Smith, in particular, is a brilliant batsman and whilst of course, I don’t want him getting too many runs while he’s over here, he’s mesmerising to watch and as genuine sports fans we should be applauding him, not jeering,” Adams said.
Smith has been in remarkable form in the Ashes as he has scored 378 runs in the series so far.
In the first Test, he became the fifth Australian to register centuries in both innings in an Ashes Test. He also surpassed Indian skipper Virat Kohli to become the second-fastest batsman to register 25 Test centuries.
Nathan Lyon scalped six wickets in the second innings of the first Test, which enabled the team from Down Under to register a 251-run victory.
Ever since, Australia landed in Australia to play the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup and Ashes, Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft have been subjected to boos from the England crowd.
The trio was involved in a ball-tampering scandal against South Africa in 2018 resulting in their suspension for one year.
England and Australia will next lock horns in the third Test at Headingley from August 22.
Having won the first Test, Australia is leading 1-0 in the series.