England’s Barmy Army labels Australia as ‘Cheats’; coach Justin Langer responds

ENGLAND : England cricket fan group ‘Barmy Army’ on Thursday trolled Australia’s cricket team in a tweet. On their official Twitter account, the supporters posted a photoshopped image of David Warner with the word “cheats” written on the jersey. The tweet, with the caption, “cricketcomau release their #CWC19 player portraits!”, also showed photoshopped images of Aussie bowlers Nathan Lyon and Mitchell Starc with sandpapers in their hands.

The tweet has been posted with just three weeks left for the start of ICC World Cup 2019, which will take place in the UK this year. Australia, who will be visiting the country for the second time after the ball-tampering incident last year, may expect to have a tough time from the home fans, especially with the Ashes series set to begin immediately after the tournament.

Speaking to SEN Sports radio late Thursday, Australia coach said the team is ready for England’s ‘siege’. “We’re ready for it. If we’re under siege the second we get off the plane, we’re ready for it,” he said.

“The World Cup might be a bit different to start off, but certainly once the Ashes kicks off there will be plenty of commentaries,” he added.

Speaking on Warner and Steve Smith, who both returned to the squad after serving a one-year ban for ball tampering, Langer said: “It’s great for the team. I can honestly say I don’t think we could be in a better position. It’s a bit like facing fast bowling, you worry, worry, worry and once you get out in the middle, it’s ok. The worst time to face fast bowling is in bed the night before,” he said.

“There’s been a huge lead-up to this (Smith and Warner’s return) and the boys have come in so far quite seamlessly,” he added.

Speaking on the reasons for the practice games against New Zealand XI, the coach said: “My main concern is we’ve had a month’s break at the end of the Pakistan series. Guys were weary at the end of long taxing summer but we were match-hardened and battle-hardened and had a great sense of confidence. We’re working back up towards it. That’s why we’re having these practice games,” he said.