London: England captain Eoin Morgan insists it is not his job to tell supporters how to react to shamed Australia stars David Warner and Steve Smith when the arch rivals meet in a crucial clash on Tuesday.
Warner and Smith have found themselves booed by some fans in England after returning to international cricket following year-long bans for ball-tampering.
Australia coach Justin Langer has pleaded for the taunts to stop, with India captain Virat Kohli and Pakistan skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed telling their supporters to lay off the duo.
But, although the Australia clash is being played at Lord’s — the ‘home of cricket’ where crowds are traditionally polite — Morgan refused to issue a plea to respect Warner and Smith. “I’m not expecting anything. I think fans and supporters up and down the country will have different reactions, as they will around the world. So we’ll see,” Morgan told reporters on Monday.
“Supporters pay a lot of money. And sport is beautiful in many ways, because it attracts people from far and wide. And you often see crowds offering support to both sets of players in the grounds. You don’t know how sports fans will react,” he added.
“Just because two guys have been punished, served their punishment and returned to play, doesn’t mean they will be accepted back into the cricket community straightaway. It will take time,” Morgan said.
England batsman Jonny Bairstow accused Australia of double standards in asking fans to go easy on Warner and Smith because former coach Darren Lehmann had previously urged supporters to abuse England quick Stuart Broad during an Ashes series ‘Down Under’.
Asked for his opinion of Bairstow’s comments, Morgan said: “I don’t have a view on it. I think every instance is different, every team is different. I believe that was a long time ago under a different regime. I don’t know.”
Morgan tried to play down the significance of the latest clash with their old enemies by saying: “It’s not must-win yet. We don’t need to win every game to get to the semifinal,” he said.
Meanwhile, Morgan said opening batsman Jason Roy, who has missed England’s last two games with a hamstring injury, would not be fit to face Australia on Tuesday....