Australian Cricketers Association (ACA) has issued a statement condemning the booing by English fans of batsman Steve Smith after he got hit by a bouncer bowled by England pacer Jofra Archer.
"What was unwelcome and incorrect was the sound of the booing of an injured player. Cricket deserves much better than that. And Lords, the home of cricket, deserves much better than that also. What we witnessed was bravery from an outstanding young man. It should be commended not vilified," ACA said in a statement.
"Over the English summer, generally the crowds have been terrific and really added to the contest. But when someone is hurt, yet the boos continue, it`s time to call `enough.` At any rate, the players have already served the toughest penalties in the history of cricket. Surely it is time to move forward," it added.
Smith had to deal with two blows on day four of the second Ashes Test match at Lord`s Cricket Ground.
Firstly, he was struck on the elbow by Jofra Archer and soon after he received a striking blow on the neck by a bouncer bowled by the pacer and he immediately went down. Physios from both England and Australia attended Smith, but the batsman had to leave the park in order to have a concussion test.
A little while later, the batsman made his way back to the crease, but a section of England crowd was seen booing the player.
ACA also opined that the concussion protocols were rightly implemented on day four of the second Test match in the ongoing Ashes.
"The overnight events at Lords show the importance of the concussion protocols which have been developed in Australia over the last few years. Let`s remind ourselves - this is a workplace for these players," the ACA said.
"The reality is that cricket can be a dangerous sport, especially when the bowling is as ferocious as it has been in this series. To see the protocols practiced at Lords overnight was important and correct," the statement added.
Smith went on to play a knock of 92 runs against England in the first innings of the second Test match.
The right-handed batsman has been in a rich vein of form as he struck centuries in both innings of the first Test match. He became only the fifth Australian to score centuries in both innings of Ashes Test.
He also surpassed Indian skipper Virat Kohli to become the second-fastest batsman to register 25 Test centuries.
Ever since, Australia landed in England to play the ICC Men`s Cricket World Cup and Ashes, Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft have been subjected to boos from the England crowd.
The trio was involved in a ball-tampering scandal against South Africa in 2018 and this resulted in the players getting suspended for one year.
In the ongoing second Test of the Ashes, England will resume day five at 96/4 with a lead of 104 in the second innings.