Former Australian captain Steve Waugh believes that David Warner and Steve Smith will expect to be given a hard time by South African crowds on their upcoming limited overs tour.
The Aussies take on the Proteas in three T20s and three ODIs from February 21 to March 7, and it will be the first time that Warner and Smith have returned to South Africa since the infamous ball tampering scandal at Newlands back in early 2018 after which they were banned from international cricket for a year.
Since then, however, Smith and Warner have been at their devastating best and both have been included in the ODI and T20 squads for the tour. Speaking at the 2020 Laureus World Sports Awards in Berlin on Sunday, Waugh said the heat from the crowds would only serve as motivation for the pair.
“They’ll welcome it with open arms,” Waugh said.
“There’ll be a few comments, and that’s all part of the game.
“They’ll expect it. They got that in England it didn’t work. Look at Steve Smith in that first Test match at Edgbaston … the crowds were booing him constantly and he got 140 in each innings.
“I’d say to South African crowds ‘go for it’ because it will motivate these players and they’ll score runs.”
Waugh was hopeful, however, that the crowds would not cross the line.
“It’s only natural, I just hope that it’s in good spirits and it doesn’t go too far,” he said.
Cricket South Africa’s acting CEO Jacques Faul, meanwhile, has been quoted as pleading with South African fans to show respect to both Smith and Warner.