Sat, 29 Feb 2020

New Delhi [India], Aug 19 (ANI): Australia's Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Monday condemned booing of Aussie batsman Steven Smith during the second Test in the ongoing Ashes at the Lord's Cricket Ground.

Morrison took to Facebook and wrote: "A draw for the second test but it was a total Ashes foul for the crowd at Lords to boo Steve Smith. His performance on the pitch during his return to Test Match cricket in the UK demands nothing other than respect. He's a champion and has handled the events of the past year with a real humility".

"I'm extremely proud of Steve Smith, and it's not just because he comes from the Shire. The crowd could learn a thing or two from Steve Smith and I look forward to him answering his hecklers with bat and ball in hand to bring home the Ashes," he added.

Smith had to deal with two blows on day four of the second Test match at Lord's Cricket Ground. Firstly he was struck on the elbow by Jofra Archer and soon after he received a striking blow on the neck by a bouncer bowled by the pacer and he immediately went down.

Physios from both England and Australia attended Smith, but the batsman had to leave the park in order to have a concussion test. A little while later, the batsman made his way back to the crease, but a section of England crowd was seen booing the player.

On the final day of the Test match, Cricket Australia released a statement that Smith had faced delayed concussion and as a result, the batsman was ruled out of day five of the second Test. As a result, Marcus Labuschagne was named as the concussion substitute in place of Smith.

However, Smith remains hopeful of playing in the third Test match, slated to begin from August 22 at Headingley.

"I'm going to be assessed over the next five or six days, each day a couple of times a day, to see how I'm feeling and how I'm progressing. I'm hopeful I'll be available for that Test match, but it's certainly up to the medical staff and we'll have conversations," Smith said.

"It's certainly an area of concern, concussion, and I want to be 100 per cent fit. I've got to be able to train a couple of days out and then face fast bowling to make sure my reaction time is in place. There are a few tests I'll have to tick off and time will tell," he added.

However, Cricket Australia's Sports Science and Sports Medicine Manager, Alex Kountouris, on Monday said that the final decision on Smith's participation will be taken by team doctor Richard Saw.

"Our doctor is brilliant. He's 100 per cent thorough. I spoke to our doctor this morning, so he told me that Steve was feeling a bit better. He had some scans and he is starting to improve," Kountouris said.

"There's a protocol in place for what happens next. Smith needs to be symptoms free before the third Test. He has got symptoms currently, there's a short time span between the second and third Test, so we will see accordingly," he added.

Smith has been in remarkable form in the ongoing Ashes as he has scored 378 runs in the series so far.

In the first Test, he became only the fifth Australian to register centuries in both innings of Ashes Test. He also surpassed Indian skipper Virat Kohli to become the second-fastest batsman to register 25 Test centuries.

The second Test match between England and Australia ended up as a draw.

England and Australia will next lock horns in the third Test in the ongoing Ashes at Headingley.After winning the first Test, Australia currently holds a 1-0 lead in the series. (ANI)

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