In what was an eventful warm-up match, former skipper and current assistant coach Paul Collingwood Saturday was forced to take the ground as a substitute fielder while Australia’s Steve Smith and David Warner were subjected to boos in Southampton.
The 42-year-old, who had led England to 2010 T20 World Cup title, walked out to field after Mark Wood and his replacement Jofra Archer left the ground following injuries.
While Wood walked off the field after suffering a hamstring injury in his fourth over, Archer also left soon after injuring himself while fielding at the deep.
Collingwood, England’s fielding coach, was then seen running around on the ground wearing Wood’s World Cup jersey, giving ample display of his fitness.
Joe Root, who was rested for Saturday’s warm-up match, was also asked to take the field.
England captain Eoin Morgan was missing in action Saturday due to a finger injury suffered during a training session, while spinner Adil Rashid skipped the warm-up game due to a shoulder injury, leaving the hosts with no option but to bring Collingwood onto the field.
Collingwood has played 197 ODIs for England between 2001 and 2011, amassing over 5,000 runs and snapping 111 wickets. He also featured in 68 Tests and 36 T20I for England.
Hostile reception for Aussies
Warner and Smith returned to international duty earlier this month after completing one-year bans for their involvement in a ball-tampering scandal in a Test match in South Africa. The duo’s ban had ended on March 29.
There were scattered boos when opening batsman Warner walked out to bat along with captain Aaron Finch in the warm-up match after Australia lost the toss. A spectator was heard shouting “Get off Warner you cheat”.
There were more boos as Warner walked off after being dismissed for 43 to be replaced by Smith, coming in with Australia 82 for two in the 17th over.
There were a few chants of “cheat, cheat, cheat” when Smith arrived, although a lone Australia fan shouted back “Get ‘em Stevie!”, according to BBC.
When eventual centurion Smith reached his fifty, the applause outweighed the boos but the jeers were very much audible.
The duo’s first match in England was a hastily arranged, unofficial warm-up match against the West Indies here on Wednesday. But that fixture was played in front of fewer than 30 spectators, whereas there were several thousands here on Saturday.
Reigning world champions Australia are set to be in England for more than four months in a tour featuring both the World Cup and a five-Test Ashes series.
Steve Smith was not bothered by the reaction, saying “I’m pretty chilled. Everyone’s entitled to their opinion. I was just focused on contributing for my team. Glad to get a few runs under my belt.”