English fans “stupid” to jeer Warner, says manager

Australia
Warner-PA

The taunts of English crowds towards David Warner will only serve to fuel the opener’s desire to succeed, according to his manager, James Erskine.

Warner and fellow top-order batsman Steve Smith were subjected to boisterous heckling from the home crowd during their seven-wicket victory over Afghanistan at Bristol on Saturday.

The jeers were audible when Warner came out to bat and reached a crescendo whilst the much-maligned duo occupied the crease together.

Erskine, a prominent sports agent having had global superstars the calibre of Shane Warne and Tiger Woods under his umbrella, believes Warner’s mental strength and resilience won’t allow his performances to be compromised by such distractions.

“I am English. Where the Poms are stupid is that it is actually going to encourage him. It will actually help him. The fact of the matter is, you concentrate, he won’t want to fail,” he told the Sydney Morning Herald.

“They will learn very quickly that they are dealing with someone who has got the powers of concentration and his willpower, it’s no different from a Steve Waugh or a Nick Faldo. That’s exactly what will happen here.”

Warner Smith PA

Erskine’s comments appear to bear truth having witnessed Warner guide Australia to victory versus Bangladesh in a composed and deliberate manner.

His unbeaten knock of 89 secured the Sydney-native the player of the match award in his first major competitive outing in international cricket since Sandpapergate in Spring 2018.

English fans are a stubborn old bunch, however, and the heckling is unlikely to dissipate after a solitary game in which Australia were never under pressure.

But if Warner produces again in a sterner test versus the West Indies on Thursday, the jeering may be relegated to a more tongue-in-cheek sideshow come their encounter with England at Lord’s on June 25.

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