Disgraced Test cricketers Steve Smith and Dave Warner are recovering in a Brisbane hospital after a team prank went horribly wrong during yesterday’s pre-World Cup match between Australia and a second-string New Zealand side.
The Bug can reveal that a teammate crept back into the Australian dressing rooms at Alan Border Field during the innings lunch break and glued coarse sandpaper sheets to the insides of the two players’ protectors prior to the Aussies’ run chase.
Both Smith and Warner (pictured above as they waited later for ambulances) were clearly discomforted while batting together and both seemed intent on hitting boundaries to avoid having to run.
“Who do these guys think they are? Keith Stackpole?” one old-timer in the grandstand was heard to say.
Smith deliberately snicked one behind on 22 before hobbling off while Warner second top scored with a quickfire 39 before signalling for the motorised stretcher.
The unfortunate prank soured what had been a day of atonement for both men who received warm applause from the small crowd as they relaunched their international careers after a year-long ban.
A spokesperson at a nearby private hospital demanded anonymity before adding: “I’m told it was a ball-tearer of a game”.
“It’s clearly the worse case of ball-tampering I’ve ever seen.
“I bet both their wives would like to get hold of the dickhead who did this.
“I don’t think Smith or Warner will be bowling their maidens over any time soon.
“I also heard one of our nurses say …. no, that’s all I’ve got. Thank you.”