Cricket World Cup 2019: Pakistan skipper says team's fans won't boo Steve Smith

2019-06-11 19:28:19

Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed says he won't need to follow Virat Kohli's lead and step in and defend Steve Smith from jeering fans during their Cricket World Cup clash with Australia.

Kohli created headlines on Sunday (Monday NZT) when he told Indian fans to stop booing Smith and instead cheer him, apologising to the former Australian captain for their behaviour.

Smith and fellow returnee David Warner have been booed in all of their Cricket World Cup games so far, ahead of a long English summer that will also include a brutal Ashes campaign.

But Sarfraz said he didn't expect Pakistan fans to create the same issues for the pair on return from their 12-month bans following the ball-tampering saga.

"I don't think Pakistani people are doing like that," Sarfraz said.

Australia are wary of a Pakistan team known for rising to the occasion in Cricket World Cups ahead of Wednesday's (Thursday NZT) clash in Taunton.

The Aussies beat Pakistan 5-0 in the UAE just three months ago, but they know the 1992 Cricket World Cup winners are a far different prospect in global tournaments.

Despite struggling on a bilateral level, Pakistan reached the semifinals of the 2011 Cricket World Cup on the sub-continent and the quarterfinals four years ago in Australia.

They also won the Champions Trophy two years ago in England, an event generally seen as a mini Cricket World Cup in similar conditions to this year's.

The difference is so stark that they have a winning record of 58 per cent in global ODI tournaments in the past decade, compared with 43 per cent in other match formats.

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