SA in New Zealand

Botha scorns 'abuse' claims

2012-02-20 09:00
Johan Botha (Gallo)

Wellington - Johan Botha poured cold water on some spurious claims that South Africa's players were unhappy with the abuse they had received from the crowd in Wellington during last Friday's first T20 - or that that they had been unsettled by the constant sledging of the Black Caps on the field.

Former ODI captain Botha said he was bemused by allegations that some Proteas had complained about their treatment at the Westpac Stadium and said that the verbal behaviour of the host team had been nothing more or less than they had expected before they even arrived.

“It’s been blown out of proportion, both aspects," Botha said soon after arrival in Auckland on Monday. "We always expected their players to come hard at us and be in our faces, and that’s fair enough. They feel that’s the way to go about it, and that’s what they’ve done – but I thought Richie (Richard Levi) quietened a few of them down last night with his innings, smashing them all over the ground."

One player who appeared to be increasingly incensed rather than 'quietened' by Levi's phenomenal, record-breaking six hitting was fast bowler Tim Southee who delivered frequent tirades in Levi's direction despite being mauled by the opening batsman. Southee was described as "witless" in the NZ Herald and as "behaving like a pork chop" on national RadioSport.

Botha insisted that no Proteas player had complained about the crowd - or even that it had been discussed in the change room.

"You just have to get on and deal with it because it’s going to happen. If it affects you then you have to find a way to cope, everyone knows that. If anyone is struggling on the boundary then maybe they have to speak to AB and get moved into the inner ring! But really, it’s much the same all over the world. You get good crowds everywhere and you get bad sections among them,” Botha said.

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