Smith issues warning to Flintoff

South African captain Graeme Smith has warned England captain Andrew Flintoff to expect his team to receive ugly abuse from Aussie fans during the Ashes.

Smith and the South African team complained of racial abuse from Australian fans during the VB Series last summer, and said if the England team are unable to handle it, their Ashes battle is doomed.

Smith told the The Courier Mail “As a leader in Australia, Fred (Flintoff) is going to have to carry a lot of heat.”

“England is obviously going to be targeted a lot by the (Australian) media and the public, so how they deal with that is going to be crucial to their success.”

“The racism stuff was hard for us. Most of us enjoy banter – we had grown up in that environment – but I think the racism and some of the crowd behaviour in Australia was very wrong, ” Smith added.

Following the scenes surrounding cricket in Australia last summer, it lead Cricket Australia to put strict new measures in place where officials have the power to issue life bans to racist spectators.

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