England chairman of selectors David Graveney suspects too much is being made of the abuse Monty Panesar may suffer during the Ashes in Australia.
Left-arm spinner Panesar is seeing a psychologist to prepare for any stick from home fans during the winter tour.
“I think people are blowing it out of proportion,” Graveney told BBC Sport. “He did after all make his debut in India as the first Sikh ever to play for England and I can’t imagine that passed off without some comments.”
Graveney added: “Any sportsmen know that when they get close crowds — particularly those supporting the opposition — that goes with the territory.
“All you can do is concentrate on your performances and carry on from there.”
Former England football captain Terry Butcher is currently the manager of Sydney FC in Australia and he insists the country’s cricket fans will respect Panesar.
“They are talking a lot about Monty Panesar out here,” said Butcher. “They really rate him.
“It came over badly out here that the English press thought Panesar was going to get a very hard time from the crowds and everyone else.”
Most of the fears about Panesar stem from the fact his fielding has been comically bad on occasion, but it is improving — and he is working hard on it.
And having dismissed some of Pakistan’s best batsmen on several occasions in the 3-0 summer Test series win, his bowling is highly regarded Down Under.
Butcher added: “The Australians respect good cricketers and good players. I think he will be surprised by the reaction he gets. Yes, there will be a bit of stick and a bit of sledging flying about.
“But the Australians out here really respect Panesar for what he does and what he’s done. I certainly don’t think there will be any level of animosity.”
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Post InfoThis entry was posted on Thursday, October 5th, 2006 and is filed under General.
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