Australia England 2018 Liam Plunkett Sandpapergate
Liam Plunkett in action during the first ODI © Getty Images

England fast bowler Liam Plunkett does “not feel sorry” for Australia as they continue to cope with the fall-out from the ball-tampering scandal that overshadowed their tour of South Africa. Steven Smith, the then Australia captain and his deputy David Warner both received year-long bans for their role in the fiasco during the third Test in Cape Town in March, with batsman Cameron Bancroft — who applied sandpaper to the ball — received a nine-month suspension.

There were concerns that Australia, under the leadership of new captain Tim Paine, might face a barrage of abuse from England fans during the first ODI at The Oval on Wednesday.

But there were just a handful of taunts audible among a capacity crowd as England won by 3 wickets to go 1-0 up in the 5-match series.

Meanwhile, an attempt by a company to cash-in on the scandal by handing out branded sandpaper to spectators as they made their way into the ground had little effect, with The Oval stewards confiscating most of the ‘ambush marketing’ material.

The second match of the series takes place in Cardiff on Saturday. Cricket fans in the Welsh cricket fans have not been slow to give Australia stick in the past and Plunkett said the tourists could have no complaint if they encountered more of the same at Sophia Gardens this weekend.

“I don’t feel sorry for them,” Plunkett told reporters on Friday. “You’re going to get it — it’s part of sport. I’m sure it would be the same if someone on the England team had done that … You get plenty of stick when you go and play against Australia Down Under.”

Plunkett added he was sure Paine’s much-changed team would cope with whatever came their way: ”I’m sure their guys have had plenty of stick in the past, and they’ll just brush it off.”