David Warner and Steve Smith have nothing to fear when the return to South Africa, says Dale Steyn. Picture: Peter Wallis
David Warner and Steve Smith have nothing to fear when the return to South Africa, says Dale Steyn. Picture: Peter Wallis

How will Proteas fans treat Smith, Warner?

Steve Smith and David Warner shouldn't fear their return to Cape Town this summer with South Africa expected to spare the ball-tampering buddies a vicious welcome.

Bowling great Dale Steyn said Smith and Warner should expect a "bit of banter" - but not much more from a nation that appreciates world-class cricketers.

 

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The Aussies jet to South Africa shortly after the February 8 Big Bash League final for a white-ball series that includes a Twenty20 at Newlands.

Smith and Warner have not visited South Africa since they were frogmarched out of the country in disgrace when the controversial Test series exploded in 2018.

"They'll be fine, they'll be fine," Steyn, 36, told the Sunday Herald Sun.

"Bit of banter obviously, but they're world-class players. People make mistakes in life, not just in sport. It doesn't matter.

"Those guys are great players and when they come to South Africa the crowd will be really appreciative of these guys coming, because they want to watch good players play cricket.

"They might get a little bit of stick, a little bit of banter - but nothing over the top. It won't be anything serious.

"You might get the odd dickhead here and there, but that's what you get anywhere in the world."

Crowds in England angrily booed Smith and Warner at this year's World Cup and Ashes, even jeering their batting milestones.

Steyn backed South African Cricketers' Association (SACA) to navigate the country through its recent turmoil.

In 2019 South Africa lost a home Test series 2-0 to Sri Lanka, suffered a disastrous World Cup, lost 3-0 in India and announced a projected loss over four years of $34.7 million.

Cricket South Africa's chief executive was recently suspended and five journalists had their accreditations revoked for reporting on the crisis.

"They (SACA) really look after us and they're the middle men between us and the board," Steyn said.

 

 

Injured fast bowler Dale Steyn is in Australia to play in the Big Bash for Melbourne Stars. Picture: AAP
Injured fast bowler Dale Steyn is in Australia to play in the Big Bash for Melbourne Stars. Picture: AAP

 

 

"The board's had some problems, which unfortunately reflects badly on the game itself, but the game has been pretty solid.

"Now that Graeme (Smith) has gotten involved as the director of cricket, Bouchy's (Mark Boucher) coming in as head coach and (Jacques) Kallis has just been appointed as batting coach.

"You will see the cricket will look after itself, and Graeme will start to sort things out from the board side of things.

"We had a bad tour of India in those Tests, but name me a team that doesn't go to India and have a bad tour.

"The cricket side of things is fine, The board just needs to sort their stuff out.

"We're OK. We'll be fine. We're a resilient country."

News Corp Australia


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