Disrespectful Or Hilarious? The Steve Smith Celebration Dividing Cricket
10 daily can confirm who Steve Smith was poking fun at, in this much-circulated photo after Australia's victory in the fourth Ashes Test at Old Trafford.
Overnight, speculation has been rife that he was mocking bespectacled England spinner Jack Leach in the photo taken by Australian photographer Ryan Pierse which has got the English tabloids -- and accordingly, a large chunk of the England public -- absolutely fuming.
Others have suggested Smith was lampooning his equally ocularly challenged batting coach and friend Chris Rogers.
10 daily can exclusively reveal that the buck stops here. As in, yes it was Chris 'Buck' Rogers that Smith was having a laugh at.
"He [Smith] sent me a pic saying he was imitating me. That’s all I know," Rogers told 10 daily.
OK, but did Smith at least do a good impersonation?
"I've only seen a couple of pics so can’t really give an informed opinion," Rogers said.
Whether Rogers' confirmation convinces the English remains to be seen. Earlier today, 'The Sun' newspaper's line was that Smith was mocking Leach, because Leach bats left-handed and wears glasses. One of its sports writers, David Coverdale, led this argument.
Now let's just say Smith had been mocking Leach. That actually wouldn't have been the most inappropriate thing in the world, given that Leach effectively mocked the Aussies after the third Test of this series.
Remember the Headingley miracle -- when England still needed 73 runs with nine wickets down, and reached their seemingly impossible target through the brutal brilliance of Ben Stokes while Leach contributed just one solitary run to the partnership?
Well, much later that night when the England team took to the pitch to savour the win, Leach thought it would be hilarious to mock the hapless Aussies by recreating his single, again and again.
So as mentioned, if Steve Smith was mocking Leach at Old Trafford, the p*sstake score would have been one-all.
But here's the thing. He wasn't. This was also confirmed by none other than the bloke who took the photo, Ryan Pierse.
As Pierse said, Smith was having a laugh at the expense of his batting coach and former Aussie opener Chris Rogers, who averaged a very respectable 42 in his 25 Tests. Like Leach, 'Buck' Rogers is a bespectacled left-handed batsman.
And as mentioned above, Rogers has just confirmed to 10 daily that Smith sent him the pics to say, yep, he was the man he was mocking.