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Sarfaraz assures Pakistan fans won't heckle Smith
Pakistan News

Sarfaraz assures Pakistan fans won't heckle Smith

Sarfaraz Ahmed claims Pakistan fans will not follow the general trend experienced in the World Cup of booing Australia batsman Steve Smith when the two sides clash in Taunton on Wednesday.

Pakistan supporters are expected to turn out in numbers and it was thought they might resort to jeering Smith like in the previous match against India but Sarfaraz is confident his compatriot fans will instead give a warm reception to the Australian team.

Chants of "cheat" became more prominent when Smith was fielding at the boundary rope during Australia's 36-run loss against India, before India's captain Virat Kohli had to admirably intervene and gesture to the crowd to stop their taunts.

"I don't think Pakistani people will do that," Sarfaraz told reporters on the eve of the match.

"Pakistani people love cricket, they love to support and they love the players."

Smith and his teammate David Warner have been at the receiving end of constant jeering from the crowd since their return to international cricket after the one-year ban for their involvement in the ball-tampering controversy expired.

'Have moved on from whitewash'

Meanwhile, Sarfaraz insists Pakistan have moved on from the 5-0 hammering they faced the last time they played Australia in a bilateral series.

"I think that thing is gone, it's past," said Sarfaraz of the series loss which did not feature several of their key players.

"We're not thinking about that. Actually we are thinking about tomorrow's game. So our morale is very high and we will do our best," he added.

Sarfaraz did not comment on Australia's injury woes which has seen their star all-rounder Marcus Stoinis being ruled out of the World Cup due to a side strain.

While Australia have recalled the out of favour Mitchell Marsh to replace him, Sarfaraz is not too keen on taking Aaron Finch's men lightly and redirected attention towards his team's strengths.

"I am not thinking about them, what they are thinking at the moment. I am thinking about my team, so we'll make good planning against them," Sarfaraz said.

Pakistan were left to rue a washout against Sri Lanka, arguably one of the weaker opponents in the competition, getting to share a single point each because of the soggy weather.

Before that, Pakistan revitalized their World Cup campaign by a remarkable 14-run victory over hosts England, following a shambolic drubbing by the West Indies in their opening game.

Sarfaraz believes his team is prepared to tackle the challenges that accompany a rain-affected match, which is likely to be the case given the bad weather forecasted for the Taunton clash.

"Firstly, we can't control the weather. It's same for both teams. But if the match is short, definitely the planning is a change one," he said.