To say that Steve Smith is not the most popular man in England would be a massive understatement.
The Aussie batsman has been the subject of boos, heckles and general abuse practically every time he has walked out onto a cricket pitch this summer, regardless of whether it was the ICC Cricket World Cup, or during the Ashes.
Smith has faced all kinds of criticism ever since he and fellow Aussie cricketer David Warner were involved in a ball-tampering scandal in 2018, which saw the pair banned from cricket for 12 months.
On top of that, the fact he has been smacking the English bowlers around cricket grounds across the country for the entire summer hasn’t exactly helped diminish the level of stick he receives.
However, he clearly has the support of whoever runs the ICC’s Twitter page after a tweet emerged on Sunday morning appearing to mock the English fans’ treatment of the batsman.
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The tweet begins: ‘Karma [noun]’, before giving a full definition of the word.
Attached to the tweet is an image of a man sat with England fans with a mask of Smith crying on his head, a joke that has clearly backfired considering Smith’s performances this summer.
There can be no debate that Smith has been a class above every other batsman during the Ashes, with the 30-year-old looking virtually impossible to dismiss.
Smith scored 211 in the first innings of the fourth Test, his third century of the series, cementing his place at the top of the run scoring charts with an average of 134.
Clearly Smith is able to block out the heckles and abuse when he is out on the pitch and continues to reaffirm his position as the No. 1 batsman in Test cricket.
Nonetheless, the support from the ICC for Smith through a tweet aimed as a jibe against English fans is surprising and a little strange.
Replies of, ‘WTF. Admin is drunk’, ‘Is this a parody account?’, ‘What trolling to the England fans’ and ‘Account hacked or what?’ sum up how fans feel about the tweet.
The final Test of the Ashes commences on Thursday and Smith will be looking to add another century to his name.
England will be looking to regain some pride with both bat and ball, while also trying to avoid another taunt from ICC’s Twitter page.