Crowd abuse is a part and parcel of the game: Smith

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Johannesburg, Dec 5(ANI): South African skipper Graeme Smith has said that England batsman Kevin Pietersen is fair game for crowd abuse.

Smith reckons that the boos directed at Pietersen five years after he first returned to the country of his birth are part and parcel of the game and the star batsman should just get on with it.

"Kevin has got a history through things that he has done and said and people here are still getting over those emotions. You want the cricket to make the headlines, but it hasn't quite gone that way and the crowds have been quite vocal towards Kevin and ultimately it is his job to get on with it and deal with it," The Mirror quoted Smith, as saying.

The South African captain further highlighted that crowd abuse is the same over the world for international cricketers, and said:

"It happens around the world these days. I watched Ricky Ponting getting booed consistently in England and it happens all over the world, I think a couple of England fans booed me on Sunday. It is just something you become used to as an international cricketer touring around the world. Fans are biased towards their teams and you have to learn to have a thick skin."

It is ten years to the day since Pietersen made his first impression on English cricket, representing KwaZulu Natal against England on their 1999 tour, scoring a then career best of 61 not out and picking up four wickets with his off-spin.

One of the reasons behind Pietersen facing time with the crowd is for his departure to England in 2000, after complaining about the transformation programme in South African sport. (ANI)

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