David Warner and Steve Smith, who were banned for a year by Cricket Australia because of their involvement in the infamous ball-tampering scandal in South Africa, will be travelling to England to participate in the upcoming cricket World Cup. For the Australian cricket team, a trip to England is never easy, and the visit for the World Cup, followed by an Ashes Test series, is shaping up to be even more challenging than usual.
England's Barmy Army has already fired the first shots at their arch-rivals with a brutal pot shot on Twitter. They doctored an image of David Warner's official World Cup player portrait, replacing "Australia" on the front of his shirt with "Cheats". They also photo-shopped Mitchell Starc and Nathan Lyon holding sandpaper. "@cricketcomau release their #CWC19 player portraits!" Barmy Army's post read.Then Australia captain Steve Smith, his deputy David Warner and Cameron Bancroft were all banned for altering the condition of the ball with a sandpaper.
Reacting to Barmy Army's online dig, Australia coach Justin Langer said his team won't be rattled by a hostile reception at the World Cup.
"We're ready for it," Langer said on Thursday.
"If we're under siege the second we get off the plane, we're ready for it.
"The World Cup might be a bit different to start off, but certainly once the Ashes kicks off there will be plenty of commentary."
Warner returned to the Australian team this week after prolific form at the Indian Premier League, while Smith stroked an unbeaten 89 in Brisbane against a New Zealand XI on Wednesday.