BSP-15 Pakistan fans will not boo Smith in World Cup: Sarfaraz

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Pakistan fans will not boo Smith in World Cup: Sarfaraz

TAUNTON, United Kingdom, June 11, 2019 (AFP) – Sarfaraz Ahmed insists
Pakistan fans won’t boo shamed Australia star Steven Smith during their World
Cup match in Taunton on Wednesday.

Pakistan fans are expected to make up a large chunk of the crowd in the
west country and there are fears they might follow the example of the India
supporters who jeered Smith at the Oval on Sunday.

But Pakistan captain Sarfaraz says his compatriots will not resort to such
tactics.

“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.”

A large number of Indian fans chanted “cheater” at Smith, who back in
action following a year-long ball for his role in the ball-tampering scandal
that rocked Australia during their tour of South Africa in 2018.

India captain Virat Kohli gestured in an effort to quiet the crowd and
later apologised to Smith.

Meanwhile, Sarfaraz vowed Pakistan will put their 5-0 whitewash by
Australia in March behind them.

“I think that thing is gone, it’s past,” said Sarfaraz of the series in
which he and six other top players were rested by Pakistan.

“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.”

Sarfaraz refused to be drawn on whether Australia will be troubled by the
absence of all-rounder Marcus Stoinis, who has been ruled out with a side
strain.

Australia have summoned another all-rounder Mitchell Marsh as potential
cover for Stoinis.

“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.

Pakistan were left frustrated after their match against Sri Lanka was
washed out at Bristol on Friday, leaving them to share a point.

Before that, Pakistan had brought their campaign back on track with a
surprise 14-run win against tournament favourites England, after a poor
defeat at the hands of the West Indies.

With bad weather forecast for Taunton on Wednesday, Sarfaraz said his team
are ready for a shortened match.

“Firstly, we can’t control the weather. It’s same for both teams. But if
the match is short, definitely the planning is a change one,” he said.

BSS/AFP/BZC/2020HRS