Cricket Australia vs South Africa: Tim Paine says England can’t handle sledging like David Warner, Steve Smith
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England’s players sure can dish it out but they can’t take it, according to Australia Test captain Tim Paine.
As Steve Smith and David Warner brace for a hostile reception on their return to cricket in South Africa, Paine told The Daily Telegraph that England’s attitude towards sledging has “always irked” him.
Using Ben Stokes’ recent blow up at a South African fan who compared him to Ed Sheeran as ammo, Paine called out the hypocrisy of England’s cricketers.
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“… This is one of the things that’s always irked me, particularly with the English,” he told the publication. “You cannot react to the crowd (and play the victim, like Stokes), but then always encourage the Barmy Army to do exactly the same, and worse – abuse players.
“Like we had in Edgbaston … they clap them at the end of the days’ play and make a big point of thanking them, as like the 12th man, or 13th player.”
Last month, Stokes blew up at a fan at Johannesburg’s infamous Bullring, shouting: “Come and say it to me outside the ground you f***ing four-eyed c**t.”
Witnesses claim the fan called him a “ginger c**t” and mentioned pop star Sheeran in his taunt.
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Now Australia is preparing to face South Africa at the same ground — and the reception is expected to be far more hostile given it’s the first time the team has toured the country since 2018’s ball-tampering saga.
Warner and Smith will cop the brunt of the crowd’s taunts, just like they did during the Ashes last year.
“Worse than being called Ed Sheeran? I think they might have,” Paine told News Corp of Smith and Warner’s treatment in the UK, and of what is expected in South Africa. “Absolutely, all the time. And it wasn’t just Steve and Dave, it was everyone.”
Paine said Australia’s mission is to rise above barbs from the crowd as reacting, like Stokes did, is the “worst thing” you can do in South Africa.
The first match of Australia’s tour starts on Saturday morning (3am) in Johannesburg.