May 10, 2018 / 6:21 AM / 2 months ago

Cricket: Australia skipper ready for hostile reception in England

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Australia’s players must be ready for a hostile reception in England over the ball-tampering scandal when they tour the country for next month’s limited-overs series, stand-in captain Tim Paine said on Thursday.

Cricket - South Africa v Australia - Fourth Test - Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg, South Africa - April 3, 2018 Australia’s Tim Paine reacts at the end of the series REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko/File Photo

Paine will lead a new-look squad for the five-match one-day international series, with former skipper Steve Smith and vice-captain David Warner suspended for their parts in the scandal in South Africa in March.

It will be the first series since the scandal for Australia, who will also play a T20 match against England during their June 13-27 tour, a warm up for the 50-over World Cup in the same country next year.

“It’s certainly going to be raised. The English are going to be basking in the glory of what’s happened,” Paine said in Hobart on Thursday.

“Guys are certainly going to have to be ready for that.

“If we can play well as a team and show we’re moving forward then hopefully the talk around that stuff will die off.”

Paine replaced Smith as test captain after the tampering scandal broke during the third test of the South Africa tour in March.

Knowing that a permanent ODI captain will be named later in the year, he hopes he can at least take advantage of the situation to cement his place in the 50-over side.

“I certainly wasn’t expecting to be part of the one-day set-up going forward - that was sort of the information I was given,” he said.

“My goal is to make it last. I want to be involved in the World Cup if I possibly can.”

Australia’s selectors have installed Aaron Finch as the ODI team’s vice-captain in place of the disgraced Warner and named the Victorian as captain of the T20 side.

The tampering case resulted in year-long bans to Smith and Warner, with batsman Cameron Bancroft suspended for nine months. Head coach Darren Lehmann, who was cleared of wrongdoing, resigned and was replaced last week by Justin Langer.

The damage to Australia’s reputation was far-reaching, with local fans disgusted and a major sponsor abruptly ending its support of the team.

Paine said the players cannot afford to go overboard again.

“There’s going to be times where it does get heated. We’ve just got to make sure we’re doing the right thing at all times,” Paine said.

Reporting by Sudipto Ganguly in Mumbai; editing by Nick Mulvenney

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