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Warner, Smith brace for hostile reception in South Africa after ball-tampering saga
Australia News

Warner, Smith brace for hostile reception in South Africa after ball-tampering saga

Australia will land on South African shores for the first time this week since the ignominious ball-tampering scandal that resulted in a one-year suspension for Steve Smith and David Warner.

The two batsmen were sent home in disgrace for their roles in the plot to tamper with the ball using sandpaper during the Cape Town Test in March 2018. Their actions led to extensive vilification by the media and cost them 12-month bans imposed by Cricket Australia.

Braving the ramifications of that dramatic incident, Warner and Smith have been able to resurrect their careers following their return to the international stage.

Along the way, they were constantly greeted to relentless jeering by English crowds during last year's ICC World Cup and the subsequent Ashes series - a pattern of behaviour expected to be repeated in South Africa.

Warner, part of Australia's ODI and T20I squads for the six white-ball fixtures against the Proteas, dismissed the notion of being perturbed by booing from a verbally aggressive crowd.

"For me personally, it won't be hard at all," the veteran southpaw told Sydney radio station 2GB.

"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. Obviously, it's going to be very hostile."

"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."

Warner's comments were backed by ODI teammate Josh Hazlewood, who believed the two were mentally strong enough to lead the way for the younger members of Australia's white-ball unit.

"Steve and Dave have ticked off pretty much every box since coming back," the right-arm paceman told reporters in Sydney.

"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."

"They'll probably try to take as much heat as they can actually, try to keep the young guys out of the spotlight," he added.