Published: February 19, 2020 8:39:04 pm
Australia batsman Steve Smith says his reception in South Africa has been “lovely” on his first tour since the notorious ‘Sandpapergate’ scandal however expects that to change when he steps onto The Wanderers on Friday.
Australia tackle hosts South Africa in the first match of a three-game Twenty20 International collection at a floor nicknamed ‘The Bull Ring’ for its hostile environment, the place England’s Ben Stokes had an altercation with a fan as just lately as final month.
Smith and teammate David Warner had been banned by Cricket Australia for a yr, and Cameron Bancroft for 9 months, after their involvement in an try to alter the state of the ball utilizing sandpaper throughout a Test tour of the nation in March 2018.
“It’s nice to be back playing in South Africa,” Smith instructed reporters on Wednesday. “The last time I was here things didn’t end overly well, but I’ve also got really fond memories of playing here. Just walking into the hotel in Sandton, initially I was like, ‘the last time I left here it wasn’t pretty’. It wasn’t the best time in my life. But I’ve moved on from that and learned a lot. I’ve been back playing for a year now. I’m really enjoying it and I feel like I’m playing well. I’m in a nice place.”
Smith says there have been no indicators of animosity from South African followers off the pitch. In truth, fairly the alternative. “Everywhere I have been the people have been lovely. Guys have come up and taken some photos and been really nice,” he mentioned.
“It’s been normal, the same as compared to when I’ve been here previously. It’s a terrific place to tour and I’m glad to be back.”
But he expects that to change as soon as the video games start, particularly at certainly one of South Africa’s most intimidating venues. “I think they’re hostile here at the best of times,” he mentioned.
“It doesn’t bother me too much. (Coach) Justin (Langer) said the other day that we had the dress rehearsal in England (last year). There was a fair bit going on there. I don’t notice it, particularly when I’m batting. Maybe a little bit when I’m fielding, but then again, it’s just words, it doesn’t affect me. It’s about getting on with the job.”
The Twenty20 collection begins in Johannesburg, earlier than transferring to Port Elizabeth on Sunday and eventually Cape Town subsequent Wednesday. The sides will then conflict in three ODI matches.
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