Former Australia captain Steve Waugh prompted the South African fans to sledge his countrymen Steve Smith and David Warner as he thinks it will help the batsmen perform better.

Notably, both Warner and Smith, the then Australia captain and vice-captain, were banned by Cricket Australia for one year for involvement in ball-tampering during the Cape Town Test in March 2018. And now, the duo will be playing for the first time in South Africa since that incident.

“They (Smith and Warner) will welcome it with open arms. There will be a few comments, and that’s all part of the game. They will expect it. They got that in England it didn’t work,” Waugh said on Sunday as quoted by IANS via Sport24.

“Look at Steve Smith in that first Test match at Edgbaston … the crowds were booing him constantly and he got 140 in each innings.

“I would say to South African crowds ‘go for it’ because it will motivate these players and they’ll score runs. It’s only natural, I just hope that it’s in good spirits and it doesn’t go too far,” he added.

Waugh’s statement comes days after Cricket South Africa’s interim chief executive Jacques Faul requested his countrymen to “respect” Smith and Warner as the Australians return to South Africa for the first time since the poor incident in 2018.

“I would plead with South African fans to respect our opponents and don’t go overboard with these things (referring to Smith and Warner),” Faul was quoted by PTI via The Herald.