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Tuesday Jun 25 2019
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English bookies target Smith, Warner ahead of Australia World Cup clash

Advertisement by online betting company Paddy Power in English newspapers.—Photo: Faizan Lakhani

LONDON: The English betting market has started targeting Australian players, apparently in an attempt to psychologically pressurize the Aussies ahead of a much-anticipated World Cup match between the two teams on Tuesday.

An example of this was an advertisement from Paddy Power, an online betting company in England, which said it's bookie would donate £10,000 to a charity each time Australia' Steve Smith and David Warner are "caught out".

Smith and Warner were banned from international cricket for a year for their involvement in a ball-tampering scandal during a Test match in Cape Town between South Africa and Australia in March last year.

The World Cup group stage match on Tuesday is the first time England and Australia — staunch cricketing rivals — are facing each other since the scandal. Smith and Warner returned to international cricket with the start of Australia's World Cup 2019 campaign.

"Last summer, Aussie cricket rebels Steve Smith and Dave Warner were caught red-sanded using tools for cheating, tools for bad. They’ve cried, they’ve been fined, they’ve been banned and now they’re back again…but did they really pay for their mistake?" English betting company Paddy Power wrote on its website.

"Paddy Power don’t think so, and have pledged to help them right their wrongs. As England face off against Australia in the Cricket World Cup – the first competitive meeting between the sides since the scandal – the bookie will donate £10,000 each time Smith and Warner are ‘caught out’, donating the money to charity Workaid.

"Why Workaid? They use tools the right way – sending sandpaper and other craft equipment to third world countries. So far helping over 9,000 underprivileged people a year get crafty in the right way, unlike Smith and Warner," it said.

"By donating £10,000 to Workaid every time the pair are ‘caught out’ by their English opponents, we are allowing the pair to reposition themselves as role models, directly funding the correct use of sandpaper. Before they were using tools to rub balls, now they’re going to fund tools to build walls," they added. 

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