England Sports Minister, Nigel Adams, has labelled the booing of Steve Smith by England fans as “distasteful”. He has also, in fact, urged the fans to cheer the Australian batting veteran.

Notably, Steve Smith, Cameron Bancroft and David Warner- the trio which was involved in the Sandpaper Gate incident- have been booed by cricket fans and spectators during their appearances in the first and second Test Matches of the ongoing Ashes series.

During the second Test match at Lord’s, Steve Smith was forced to leave the field after a 92.4 miles per hour bouncer hit Smith on an unprotected part of the neck. Although he returned to the crease 40 minutes later, he was dismissed soon after for 92. While many fans stood up and applauded, there were others who were booing at him both when he was taken off the field and when he returned.

“The vast majority of the Lord’s crowd were on their feet applauding Steve Smith after his innings but a small amount of booing from a tiny element of the crowd has made the news,” Adams, the Sports Minister was quoted as saying by Sydney Morning Herald.

“It’s distasteful and we have to remember that the Aussie players who got themselves into trouble have been punished and done the time.

“Smith, in particular, is a brilliant batsman and whilst of course, I don’t want him getting too many runs while he’s over here, he’s mesmerising to watch and as genuine sports fans we should be applauding him, not jeering,” he added.

It is to be highlighted here that earlier Australia Prime Minister Scott Morrison had also come out and criticised the crowd at Lord’s for their harsh behaviour against Smith.

“A draw for the second Test but it was a total Ashes foul for the crowd at Lords to boo Steve Smith,” Morrison had posted on Facebook on Monday.

“His performance on the pitch during his return to Test Match cricket in the UK demands nothing other than respect,” he added.

Smith will not be available for selection for the Third Test as he has been ruled out with a concussion.