Warner shut the boos out with a matchwinning 89. Picture: AFP
Warner shut the boos out with a matchwinning 89. Picture: AFP

Warner cops rough crowd abuse in Cup opener

Justin Langer's pleas for English crowds not to boo his players fell on deaf ears with David Warner heckled just 13 balls into Australia's World Cup campaign.

As Warner ran to retrieve the ball after an Afghanistan boundary, the Bristol crowd's cheers for the shot were quickly drowned out by loud boos.

And as Warner batted, two men watching on from an apartment balcony overlooking the ground dressed up as giant sheets of 3M sandpaper.

The outfit was complete with a giant cardboard cut-out of a red cricket ball, which they rubbed against themselves.

Warner and Steve Smith have to field in the ring because of their elbow injuries, saving them from plenty of crowd abuse they'd receive in the outfield.

There was another round of boos as Warner walked out to open the batting with captain Aaron Finch, while even his first boundary was booed.

Some fans also chanted: "Aussie, Aussie, Aussie, cheat, cheat cheat".

"We have spoken a bit how we are going to handle that situation. Obviously, we copped it in the warm-up game against England, too. But I think we are expecting it. And to be fair, I think everyone's handling it really well," said Australian spinner Adam Zampa.

"I think the way they are handing themselves has been great. Same for all of us. Personally, I don't really hear the crowd to be honest. So I think if you can block it out, you don't really hear it. As I say, the guys are handling themselves really well.

"Honestly, we spoke about it during our camp in Brisbane about how we are going to react to it and how we are going to handle it and we haven't spoken about it since. I think we expected what we were going to cop and I think all of us, to our credit, are just getting on with the job."

Warner wasn't the only one to cop it from England's boo birds - with former captain Smith also wearing some abuse.

"You heard the boos today when Smithy went out there," Zampa continued.

"Call it what you want, disrespectful, or just a part of the game. Either way, I think the way that us as players are handling it has been great.

"If you let it get to you, I suppose that is when something will happen. I think, yeah, we are handling it really well at the moment."

Former Australian fast bowler Jason Gillespie wondered if Langer erred by saying publicly he would be "disappointed" if English crowds booed.

Gillespie said: "I don't disagree (with Langer) however the reality is that the lads will get heckled and highlighting it by asking the crowds to not heckle will only make them do it more. Focus on the job at hand."

Warner had the last laugh in many ways, hitting a matchwinning 89 in the seven-wicket victory.