BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND — JULY 29: David Warner, Steve Smith and Cameron Bancroft of Australia practice slips catching during the Australia Nets Session at Edgbaston on July 29, 2019 in Birmingham, England. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)
BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND — JULY 29: David Warner, Steve Smith and Cameron Bancroft of Australia practice slips catching during the Australia Nets Session at Edgbaston on July 29, 2019 in Birmingham, England. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

England won’t attempt an Ashes boos ban

England won't follow Virat Kohli's lead regarding the barrage of boos set to be unleashed on Thursday, when the sandpaper trio make their Test returns at a hostile Edgbaston.

Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft will confront a fired-up opposition and heaving sold-out crowd in the Ashes opener.

Smith and Warner had a taste of what to expect during Australia's World Cup semi-final loss to England at the Birmingham venue, home of the nation's most rowdy cricket crowds.

The batsmen were booed at every notable juncture of that game. India captain Kohli came to the defence of Smith during the World Cup, apologising to Australia's sacked skipper while calling on his nation's fans to stop their booing and chants of "cheater".

Australia coach Justin Langer, having previously made an unsuccessful plea for the booing to stop, has given up attempting to influence crowd behaviour.

 

 

England batsman Joe Denly, who has spent many winters in Australia playing either grade cricket or the Big Bash League, noted "if it was the other way around and we were going out to Australia, I'm pretty sure we'd hear a lot about it".

"After a few beers, I'm sure the Aussies might get a little bit of stick," Denly said, also confirming he will bat No. 4 in a rejigged order that has Joe Root at first drop.

"I'm sure the Aussies might hear a little bit about sandpaper-gate throughout the series."

 

David Warner and Steve Smith inspect the Edgbaston pitch ahead of the first Ashes Test. Picture: Ryan Pierse/Getty Images
David Warner and Steve Smith inspect the Edgbaston pitch ahead of the first Ashes Test. Picture: Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

 

England paceman Stuart Broad, made Public Enemy No. 1 in 2013-14, knows all too well how intense crowd abuse can be on an Ashes tour.

Darren Lehmann, coaching Australia and unhappy with Broad's conduct in the preceding Ashes series, called on the "Australian public (to) give it to him right from the word go for the whole summer … I hope he cries and he goes home".

 

 

 

Fans responded to the rallying call, 'Stuart Broad is a s*** bloke' shirts proved all the rage at grounds around the country.

"I've been through that booing aggression from the Aussies. It dies off," Broad said.

"At Birmingham, there's no doubt the crowd will boo, as we saw in the World Cup semi-final.

"But if they perform, there will be no one booing come the fourth Test." Broad suggested his team "wouldn't go down the route", when asked if the ball- tampering saga could be used as sledging fodder.

Broad's new-ball partner Jimmy Anderson agreed, adding the "odd boo here or there isn't going to worry" Smith, Warner and Bancroft.

Langer praised Smith and Warner's response to the boos, in terms of both batting and behaviour, during the World Cup and expected more of the same in the five- Test series.

News Corp Australia

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