Infotainment Factory: England star's surprise support for Smith and Warner

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Tuesday, 21 May 2019

England star's surprise support for Smith and Warner


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Moeen Ali has called on England fans to give David Warner and Steve Smith a fair go during the Cricket World Cup with Australia to face the hosts this Saturday in a warm-up match in Southampton.

The defending champions continue their preparations with an unofficial hit-out with the West Indies on Wednesday (1930 AEST) before facing the host nation and world No.1 side in front of an expected crowd of over 10,000.

Coach Justin Langer and his counterpart Ottis Gibson are expected to field 12 batsmen as they look to finalise their lineups for the start of the tournament next week.

Australia kick off their campaign against Afghanistan on June 1 but are braced for a hostile reception at the Ageas Bowl on Saturday following the ball-tampering scandal that led to Smith and Warner's 12-month bans.

But Moeen, who claimed in his autobiography to be the victim of a racial slur by an unnamed Australian player during the 2017 Ashes, wants fans to enjoy the cricket and not abuse opponents.

"I really hope they don't get too much stick," Moeen said in The Guardian.

"I want them to enjoy the series. If you have to, keep it funny, not personal.

"We all make mistakes. We are human beings and we have feelings. I know deep down they are probably really good people.

"I just hope they get treated decently. I just want the cricket to be spoken about."

David Warner

The return of Smith and Warner will bolster the Australia top order, but also poses questions as to who should be left out.

Shaun Marsh and Usman Khawaja are vying for a starting spot.

Khawaja's magnificent series as an opener against India where he hit two centuries and then averaged 54.40 at the top of the order against Pakistan, should be enough to seal a spot.

However, Marsh's form last year in England was one of the few highlights in a galling 5-0 series defeat.

Steve Smith

The West Australian cracked two centuries 12 months ago and looked in imperious touch during a two-day training session at Whitgift School last weekend.

Adam Zampa and Nathan Lyon are also pushing for dual spin selection with the pair given plenty of time in the middle last weekend as the batsmen gear up for Afghan spinners Rashid Khan, Mujeeb Ur Rahman and Mohammad Nabi.

"We've got got to squeeze 15 into 11," Langer said.

"There's 15 guys who could easily play in the first game against Afghanistan.

"These things have a way of working themselves out and by the time we get to Bristol I'm sure we'll be pretty clear on what our first XI is going to be.

"We're pretty close at the moment but there's still a few spots up for grabs."

- AAP

Moeen Ali has called on England fans to give David Warner and Steve Smith a fair go during the Cricket World Cup with Australia to face the hosts this Saturday in a warm-up match in Southampton.

The defending champions continue their preparations with an unofficial hit-out with the West Indies on Wednesday (1930 AEST) before facing the host nation and world No.1 side in front of an expected crowd of over 10,000.

Coach Justin Langer and his counterpart Ottis Gibson are expected to field 12 batsmen as they look to finalise their lineups for the start of the tournament next week.

Australia kick off their campaign against Afghanistan on June 1 but are braced for a hostile reception at the Ageas Bowl on Saturday following the ball-tampering scandal that led to Smith and Warner's 12-month bans.

But Moeen, who claimed in his autobiography to be the victim of a racial slur by an unnamed Australian player during the 2017 Ashes, wants fans to enjoy the cricket and not abuse opponents.

"I really hope they don't get too much stick," Moeen said in The Guardian.

"I want them to enjoy the series. If you have to, keep it funny, not personal.

"We all make mistakes. We are human beings and we have feelings. I know deep down they are probably really good people.

"I just hope they get treated decently. I just want the cricket to be spoken about."

David Warner

The return of Smith and Warner will bolster the Australia top order, but also poses questions as to who should be left out.

Shaun Marsh and Usman Khawaja are vying for a starting spot.

Khawaja's magnificent series as an opener against India where he hit two centuries and then averaged 54.40 at the top of the order against Pakistan, should be enough to seal a spot.

However, Marsh's form last year in England was one of the few highlights in a galling 5-0 series defeat.

Steve Smith

The West Australian cracked two centuries 12 months ago and looked in imperious touch during a two-day training session at Whitgift School last weekend.

Adam Zampa and Nathan Lyon are also pushing for dual spin selection with the pair given plenty of time in the middle last weekend as the batsmen gear up for Afghan spinners Rashid Khan, Mujeeb Ur Rahman and Mohammad Nabi.

"We've got got to squeeze 15 into 11," Langer said.

"There's 15 guys who could easily play in the first game against Afghanistan.

"These things have a way of working themselves out and by the time we get to Bristol I'm sure we'll be pretty clear on what our first XI is going to be.

"We're pretty close at the moment but there's still a few spots up for grabs."

- AAP

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