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Australia cricket union slams booing of injured Smith at Lord's
The Ashes 2019

Australia cricket union slams booing of injured Smith at Lord's

Australia's cricket union condemned sections of the crowd at Lord's for mocking Steve Smith when he walked out to bat after being felled by a sharp bouncer by Jofra Archer on Saturday.

The number three ranked batsman was unsettled and dropped to the floor face forward after receiving a sickening blow to the side of his neck and head while batting on 80 on the fourth day of the second Ashes Test.

He was forced to retire hurt as a result and walked back to the pavilion to a generous round of applause.

When Smith returned to bat following Peter Siddle's dismissal, he was greeted by raucous boos, resembling the treatment he has received all throughout the summer since he made a comeback to international cricket after the expiry of his 12-month ban for ball-tampering.

The Australian Cricketers' Association (ACA) criticized certain fans for bringing the game into disrepute with the incessant taunts directed at an injured player.

"Cricket deserves much better than that. And Lord's, the home of cricket, deserves much better than that also," the joint statement from president Greg Dyer and chief executive Alistair Nicholson read.

"What we witnessed was bravery from an outstanding young man. It should be commended not vilified.

"Over the English summer, generally the crowds have been terrific and really added to the contest. But when someone is hurt, yet the boos continue, it's time to call 'enough'."

Former Australian players including Ian Healy and Mitchell Johnson also denounced the incident.

'ICC have done a good job in implementing the protocols'

Meanwhile, the ACA lauded the efforts of the medics, who convinced Smith to leave the field for concussion tests and prioritized his safety amidst the intense battle - a protocol introduced after the death of Australian cricketer Phillip Hughes in 2014.

Hughes passed away following a nasty blow to the head by a bouncer in a domestic Sheffield Shield match and his death sparked a huge debate on reforming the protocols for players' safety.

"The events at Lord's show the importance of the concussion protocols which have been developed in Australia over the last few years," ACA said.

"Administrators in Australia working with the ACA and now the ICC have done a good job in putting the protocols in place. Plainly, they are necessary to protect the players who are struck.

"Let's remind ourselves -- this is a workplace for these players. The reality is that cricket can be a dangerous sport, especially when the bowling is as ferocious as it has been in this series.

"To see the protocols practised at Lord's overnight was important and correct."

Although Smith was batting with a helmet on, the ball slid through the unprotected area of the neck.