Australia opener David Warner hopes fans will show some “respect” to him and Steve Smith as he and Smith will return to South Africa for the first time ever since the ‘Sandpapergate’ ball-tampering scandal surprised the world cricket. The last time they played in South Africa, it was nearly two years ago. They were sent home for tampering the ball with sandpaper during a Cape Town Test. It cost them one year of suspensions and for Warner, a lifetime leadership ban as well.
Although they returned to the squad and started with a bang. Both players were constantly booed and jeered during last year’s ICC World Cup and Ashes series in England as well. Moreover, they are expected to receive similar treatment in South Africa too.
“For me personally, it won’t be hard at all,” David Warner told Sydney radio station 2GB this week. “I just go there and I’ve got a job to do and that’s to score runs and win games for Australia and put us in a good position. I copped it in England; I actually enjoyed that and played along with it. Hopefully, we’re showed some respect when we go over to Africa and the things that happen in the past stay there.”
“Steve and Dave have ticked off pretty much every box since coming back,” fast bowler Josh Hazlewood told reporters. “It’s just another one of those and I don’t think it’ll faze them one bit. They probably play better when it’s like this. It’s nothing we haven’t experienced before… we’ll be fine.”
However, Australia will look forward to using this tour as preparation for the T20 World Cup on home soil in October. But they will not get the service of star all-rounder Glenn Maxwell, who pulled out his name to have arthroscopic surgery on his left elbow. D’Arcy Short has replaced him in both formats.
“If you look at our squad selections over the last couple of months, it’s all been pretty consistent,” said Aaron Finch. “There hasn’t been a huge amount of risk-taking in our selections, so we’ve got confidence in the 14 guys in South Africa that potentially they can take us forward to the T20 World Cup.”
Australia ODI squad: Aaron Finch (Capt), Ashton Agar, Alex Carey, Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood, Marnus Labuschagne, Mitchell Marsh, D’Arcy Short, Kane Richardson, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Matthew Wade, David Warner, Adam Zampa.
Australia T20 squad: Aaron Finch (Capt), Sean Abbott, Ashton Agar, Alex Carey, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Marsh, D’Arcy Short, Jhye Richardson, Kane Richardson, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Matthew Wade, David Warner, Adam Zampa.