Big mouth Nathan Lyon slams ‘ruthless’ England supporters who booed disgraced duo Steve Smith and David Warner at Southampton
- Sections of the Southampton crowd booed both Australian batsmen in game
- Steve Smith scored century as Australia beat England in World Cup warm-up
- One fan was dressed as a cricket ball and another dressed as sandpaper
- Nathan Lyon said: ‘They haven’t changed their lines in 12 months’
The Australian who insisted he wanted to end England players’ careers ahead of the last Ashes and launched an unprovoked attack on Matt Prior now insists English crowds are ‘ruthless’.
Nathan Lyon’s outburst in Brisbane was a symptom of the wider malaise that reached an explosive conclusion when Steve Smith and David Warner were banned for the cheating scandal that still casts a cloud over Australian cricket.
So it was not without irony that the off-spinner criticised sections of the Southampton crowd who booed the disgraced pair before they batted and when Smith reached his hundred in Australia’s 12-run win in a World Cup warm-up on Saturday at the Ageas Bowl.
Nathan Lyon (on the ground) branded some of the England supporters as ‘ruthless’
‘It was as expected,’ said Lyon of supporters who included a man dressed as a cricket ball being chased by another holding sandpaper.
‘They’re ruthless over here. I’ve had two Ashes tours and a one-day series and haven’t experienced anything else.
‘They’re ruthless and don’t show much love. They haven’t changed their lines in 12 months.’
But was it not relatively mild compared to Lyon’s extraordinary verbal attack on all things England 18 months ago, ahead of the Ashes, an attack surely at odds with Australia’s new touchy-feely culture?
‘I’m very competitive and I don’t think I’m going to change very much,’ insisted Lyon.
Steve Smith scored a century for his side as they beat England but he was roundly booed
Sections of the crowd at the Rose Bowl booed both Smith and David Warner
‘I will play the cricket I’ve always played and make sure I wear my heart on my sleeve.
‘I will be competing against whoever we’re playing against and today was a good run-out against the best one-day side in the world.
‘I’m not going to come here and cause headlines.’
Any Australian indignation at what is likely to be an ongoing theme of this summer, particularly when Ashes time arrives in August, was put into perspective on Sunday by Jonny Bairstow, who really did receive unacceptable abuse at the hands of Warner during that first Ashes Test at the Gabba.
‘Imagine if we went to Australia in the same position as them,’ said Bairstow. ‘It would be 10 times worse. This is just one of those things Australia will be expecting.’
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