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Cricket World Cup briefing: Smith grateful for Kohli support

STEVE SMITH has described Virat Kohli’s call for Indian fans not to boo him as ‘a lovely gesture’.

Former Australian captain Smith, 30, has been subjected to heckling from crowds in England during the World Cup in the wake of his role in his team’s ball-tampering scandal in South Africa last year, which led to him being banned from the game for a year. However, during Australia’s defeat to India at The Oval last week Kohli gestured to the largely Indian-supporting crowd not to keep abusing Smith.

‘Yeah, it was a lovely gesture,’ Smith said yesterday. ‘It doesn’t really bother me what the crowd do, to be perfectly honest, I’m just sort of blocking it all out but it was a lovely gesture from Virat, that’s for sure.’

■ SRI LANKA have denied reports they were punished by the ICC for failing to send anyone to the post-match press conference after Saturday’s defeat to Australia. Tournament organisers complained to Sri Lanka Cricket, who have promised there will not be a repeat no-show when they play England at Headingley on Friday. Last week Sri Lanka, who have one win from five, made headlines when they complained about pitches and poor accommodation.