Watch every match of the ICC Cricket World Cup live on Sky Sports from May 30
Last Updated: 26/05/19 5:01pm
Australia spinner Nathan Lyon says he was not surprised by the “ruthless” reaction from England fans to Steve Smith and David Warner.
The pair were greeted frostily at the Ageas Bowl during their side’s World Cup warm-up victory on Saturday, their first appearance against England since the end of their one-year bans for ball tampering.
To no great surprise, there were audible boos, jeers and chants of “cheat” – a backdrop they may need to become used to as the competition progresses and then gives way to the Ashes.
Neither man seemed to fret over the welcome, with Warner making 43 and Smith hitting a match-winning 116 – but Lyon was far from shocked by the treatment received by the pair.
“It was as expected – they’re ruthless over here,” he said.
“I’ve had two Ashes tours and a one-day series over here and haven’t experienced anything else.
“They’re ruthless and there’s not much love. They haven’t changed their lines in the last 12 months.”
England cricketers going back several generations might be surprised at Lyon’s characterisation, particularly given the heckling that takes place Down Under.
Lyon himself has form, playing provocateur in 2017 when he talked of ending English careers and rounded on former wicketkeeper Matt Prior.
He was not inclined to repeat that performance in Southampton but is more than ready for a summer of hard-fought cricket.
“I’m very competitive and I don’t think I’m going to change very much,” he said.
“I will play the cricket I’ve always played and make sure I wear my heart on my sleeve. I will be competing against whoever we’re playing.”
You can watch every match of the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup on Sky Sports Cricket, starting with England vs South Africa at The Oval on Thursday, May 30.