Former Australia captain Steve Smith’s return to cricket has seen him continue right from where he left of as the right-hander has hit back-to-back half-centuries in the ongoing World Cup.
And while he may have been accepted with open arms by new skipper Aaron Finch and the rest of the Australian team, opposition fans have been keen to not let him forget his role in the sandpaper scandal that saw him banned for a year alongside David Warner and Cameron Bancroft.
He was receiving a similar treatment from Indian fans as the two sides clashed at The Oval but India skipper Virat Kohli took exception from that, urging his team to applaud the World Cup winner rather than boo him.
Smith went on to shake hands with the Indian captain to thank him for his support.
With India fans giving Steve Smith a tough time fielding in the deep, @imVkohli suggested they applaud the Australian instead.
— ICC (@ICC) June 9, 2019
“What’s happened has happened, he’s come back, he’s worked hard, he’s playing well for his side now,” Kohli said after the fixture in London.
“If I was in a position where something had happened with me, and I’d apologised and accepted it, and came back and still I would get booed, I wouldn’t like it either.”#ViratKohli on why he asked the fans to stop booing Steve Smith. #CWC19 | #INDvAUS pic.twitter.com/CIMicjoSA0
— Cricket World Cup (@cricketworldcup) June 9, 2019
“Just because there are so many Indian fans here, I didn’t want them to set a bad example. He didn’t do anything to be booed in my opinion. I felt bad because if I was in a position where something had happened with me, and I’d apologised and accepted it, and came back and still I would get booed, I wouldn’t like it either,” Kohli added.