World Cup 2019: Pakistani fans won’t boo Steve Smith, says Safaraz Ahmed

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Pakistan captain Sarfaraz Ahmed has denied that the team’s fans might boo Australia’s Steven Smith when the two teams meet in a crucial league match in Taunton on June 12. It should be noted that India captain Virat Kohli had asked fans not to boo Smith when he was batting against Australia on June 9.

When asked whether he will repeat Kohli’s gesture when faced with similar behaviour from Pakistan team’s fans, Sarfaraz said that he doesn’t think ‘Pakistani people will do that’.

“I don’t think Pakistani people will do that,” Sarfaraz told reporters on Tuesday.

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

Earlier, as India took on defending champions Australia in the biggest match of the 2019 World Cup on Sunday and sent their bowlers on a leather chase around The Oval, Smith was sent to field near the boundary. Immediately after, Smith copped a few chants and boos from the fans close by.

However, Virat Kohli showed his classy side when he asked a section of the crowd to stop the cheater chants at Steve Smith. Kohli instead asked the crowd to clap for Smith.

Sarfaraz also denied his team carry any scars from their 5-0 rout by Australia in March and is confident of victory in Wednesday’s World Cup contest against the reigning champions.

Australia thrashed a depleted Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates follow their thrilling 3-2 series victory in India to signal their preparation for a successful title defense in the World Cup.

“I think that thing is gone, it’s past. 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,” said Sarfaraz at the pre-match press conference on Tuesday.

“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.

The 1992 champions have looked characteristically unpredictable in the tournament as they began their campaign with a defeat by West Indies but bounced back in style shocking hosts England.

They split points with Sri Lanka after the match in Bristol was abandoned because of rain and the prospect of another washout looms large over their next outing.

“Firstly, we can’t control the weather, you know… But definitely if the match is shortened, definitely plan changes,” Sarfaraz added.

(With agencies inputs)

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