Ahead of Pakistan’s ICC World Cup 2019 match against Australia, Sarfaraz Ahmed was asked about Kohli’s sportsmanship and how he would deal the situation if Pakistani fans targeted Steve Smith and David Warner
Taunton: Pakistan captain Sarfaraz Ahmed has taken a dig at Indian fans over the booing of Australia batsman Steve Smith at the ICC World Cup 2019 in London on Sunday (June 9).
Indian fans at the Oval in London had targeted Smith and there were chants of ‘cheater’ and captain Virat Kohli had to intervene. Kohli urged the fans to stop booing Smith and encouraged them to applaud the Australian.
This gesture of Kohli’s was hailed by fans and cricketers. Also, he had apologised to Smith on behalf of the Indian fans.
Ahead of Pakistan’s match against Australia, Sarfaraz was asked about Kohli’s sportsmanship and how he would deal with the situation if Pakistani fans targeted Smith and David Warner on Thursday (June 12) in Taunton.
Sarfaraz said Pakistani supporters “love” the players and they would not do what Indian fans did to Smith.
“I don’t think Pakistani people will be doing it like that. Pakistan people love cricket and they love to support it, and they love the players,” Sarfaraz said in an apparent dig at Indian supporters.
Smith and Warner have been at the receiving end from the fans after their roles in the ball-tampering scandal for which they were handed 12-month bans.
After India’s 36-run victory over Australia, Kohli was asked as to why he thought it was necessary to stop fans from booing Smith.
He explained, “Look, I think what's happened has happened like long back, the guy is back, he's trying to play well for his side. Even in the IPL I saw him, it's not good to see someone down like that, to be honest. We've had issues in the past. We've had a few arguments on the field. But you don't want to see a guy feeling that heat every time he goes out to play. What's happened has happened. Everyone has known that. He's come back. He's worked hard. He's playing well for his side now.”
He added, “So just because there's so many Indian fans here, I just didn't want them to set a bad example, to be honest, because he didn't do anything to be booed in my opinion. He's just playing cricket. He was just standing there, and I felt bad because if I was in a position where something had happened with me and I had apologised, I accepted it and I came back and still I would get booed, I wouldn't like it, either. So I just felt for him, and I told him, I'm sorry on behalf of the crowd because I've seen that happen in a few earlier games, as well, and in my opinion that's not acceptable.”
Last Updated 4:39 PM IST