Steve Smith’s mother ‘had to leave Lord’s due to Ashes abuse and the 11-year-old son of an Aussie staffer was reduced to tears’ – as team asks for extra security for families at second Test
- Stars’ families hit with verbal abuse, report says
- Smith’s mother left home of cricket after being targeted
- Security at Headingley already ramped up for Test
The verbal abuse directed at the Australian team at Lord’s during the second Ashes Test was so intense that star batter Steve Smith’s mother left the ground while the young son of a staffer was reduced to tears, according to a report.
Pat Cummins’ team have asked for security for families to be beefed up for the third clash with England on Thursday in the wake of the stunning scenes as fans lashed out after the controversial stumping dismissal of Jonny Bairstow.
Smith’s mother Gillian – who was at the Lord’s Test with his father Peter – left the ground early after being taunted by fans, according to The Australian.
The spectators did not know her connection to the former Test skipper and targeted her due to her nationality, the publication reported – adding that the 11-year-old son of an Australia team staff member cried after also being subjected to abuse.
Steve Smith’s mother Gillian (pictured with her son) was targeted by fans who didn’t know her connection to the superstar batter, but picked up on her nationality
Smith (in foreground, with teammate Marnus Labuschagne) was on the end of verbal abuse from Lord’s members in the ground’s famous Long Room
Australian players later huddled around the youngster on the balcony at the home of cricket as a show of support.
As a result of the vitriol, the team has asked for extra protection for their loved ones when the sides next meet at Headingley.
Officials at the ground have already planned extra precautions for the second Test after three members of the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) were suspended for abusing the tourists as they walked through the famous Long Room during a break in play.
It’s believed particular focus will fall on the Western Terrace, which has a reputation for being one of the most raucous places to watch cricket.
England star Joe Root has called on fans to wind back their treatment of the tourists at Leeds, saying, ‘You come to support your nation. It doesn’t need to go beyond that. It should never go beyond that.’
David Warner (in green cap next to steward in blue jacket) and Usman Khawaja (right, in doorway) reacted to abuse from one spectator before the former was ushered away
The abuse directed at Australian stars like Usman Khawaja – who at one point asked security to deal with one of the members in the pavilion – stemmed from fans’ anger over one of the most controversial dismissals in Ashes history.
Bairstow left his batting crease when the ball was still in play at the end of a Cameron Green over, with quick-thinking Aussie keeper Alex Carey hitting the stumps a split second later, resulting in heated debate about the tactic’s legality and whether it followed the spirit of the game.
Australia then demanded a please explain from the MCC after players were abused and two were allegedly tripped by some members inside the Lord’s Pavilion.
Footage from inside the Long Room as players left the field at lunch on the final day’s play showed Australian stars were yelled at by several members and labelled ‘cheats’.
Reports said the abuse included several expletives and calling players a ‘disgrace’, ‘liars’ and telling them to go home.
That prompted both Khawaja and David Warner to stop and approach one man, before two stewards stepped in and ushered Warner away.