Aussie legends condemn Lord’s crowd over Smith boos
Ian Healy has slammed the "disgusting" behaviour of a small group of fans who booed Steve Smith after he was hit on the neck by a bouncer at Lord's.
Smith copped a frightening blow on day four of the second Ashes Test, when he misread a Jofra Archer delivery that could have done serious damage.
Batting partner Pat Cummins and a stack of fielders rushed to Smith, while Australia's team doctor Richard Saw sprinted out to the middle and insisted the batsman retires hurt.
The 30-year-old was able to walk off the field without assistance and passed a concussion test, returning to bat at the fall of the next wicket. There was a standing ovation when Smith walked off the ground, most members of the crowd also stood and applauded when he resumed his knock.
But some of England's supporters opted to boo the batsman, who has copped plenty of abuse and jeers during both the World Cup and Ashes in his comeback tour from a year-long suspension, at both junctures.
Healy, who is hosting Nine Network's coverage of the showpiece series, was shocked.
"It was disgusting," Healy said.
I get the pantomime of @stevesmith49 arrival to the crease and the booing but please stop booing once he plays with great skill,courage and incredible discipline !!! he deserves a standing ovation for that innings ... #Ashes #Lords— Michael Vaughan (@MichaelVaughan) August 17, 2019
"Lord's won't be happy with that either.
"They don't like any 'yobbo' element of crowd behaviour."
Australia coach Justin Langer shrugged his shoulders then choose his words wisely when asked about the boos.
"What can I say? ... I've spoken enough about the boos, there's nothing we can do about the boos," Langer said.
"There is also a lot of people standing and applauding him." The Barmy Army, who taunted Smith for his role in the Cape Town cheating scandal throughout the Edgbaston series opener, distanced itself from those fans booing the stricken superstar.
But paceman Chris Woakes opted against condemning the noise. "People are entitled to do as they wish, that's up to them and what they feel is necessary," Woakes said.
"What they think as a person is right and wrong. For Steve to come out, having been hit the way he was, does show some courage and character."
Mark Taylor, who is on deck at the home of cricket as a Nine pundit, lashed the booing as "very disappointing".
Shane Warne suggested booing Smith in other instances was one thing but to add insult to injury was not on.
"Just get up, clap and say that's courageous, very brave," Warne said in commentary.