Justin Langer’s former right-hand man Ben Oliver and ex-Olympic rower Drew Ginn will take over Pat Howard’s old role at Cricket Australia before the start of the Ashes.
1Centurion Steve Smith says the boos from the English fans that punctuated his fine 116, in Australia’s 12-run win over England were water off a duck’s back.
Steve Smith insists he’s unconcerned by jeering from England fans after his excellent 116 helped Australia win their World Cup warm-up clash with England at Southampton.
Smith, who had scored 88 not out, 91 not out and 76 in his three previous visits to the crease against New Zealand and the West Indies, looked in great touch at the Ageas Bowl on Saturday.
The 29-year-old, speaking for the first time since rejoining the squad following a 12-month suspension, says he’s grown as a person following the ball tampering affair in South Africa.
But there was nothing different about the remarkable batting display which showed just how valuable he is to Australia, with no other player passing 50 in a score of 9-297.
Smith, like David Warner, was booed and had to endure chants of ‘cheat’ on his way out to bat from sections of the 11,500-strong crowd, but found it easy to blank out.
“Everyone’s entitled to their opinion and how they want to treat people,” Smith said.
“It’s water off a duck’s back to me and it doesn’t bother me.
“I try to black it out. They call it white noise I guess.
“When I’m out in the middle I don’t pay attention to the crowd or what they’re saying.
“I heard a few things as I went out to bat … but I was trying to keep my head down, move straight ahead and just do my job.
“Fortunately I was able to score a few runs for the team.”
Smith’s form is a huge boost for the defending champions seven days out from their tournament opener against Afghanistan.
He believes his enforced exile from the game has refreshed him mentally going in to a huge four months that culminates in the Ashes series.
“Not too many players have a year out of the game,” he said.
“Having performed at a high level for four to five years and to then have a year away has helped freshen men up and come back hungrier than ever.
“I’ve worked on a few different things and get fitter and hopefully I’ll have a good World Cup.”
Although the victory against a red-hot England side, who were without Eoin Morgan and Joe Root, Smith insists the team are not getting ahead of themselves.
“I’m not reading too much into it,” he said.
“It is a practice match and great to do that. But I want to keep it for the real stuff.”