Gareth Batty derided his Worcestershire critics after Surrey’s overwhelming victory in the Royal London Cup semi-final and informed them that they would never see their side play in a Lord’s final.
His comments came shortly after he had suffered boos and cat-calls during Surrey’s 153-run victory on a Worcester ground where he has been sporadically abused since he left Worcestershire eight years ago.
Batty, Surrey’s captain and known for his spiky on-field demeanour, made a triumphant return to his former county. His off-breaks reaped 5 for 40 runs – his best List A figures for Surrey – during a feeble Worcestershire batting display.
“Everytime we win and particular when there is a bit of banter flying around, you just want to show people that things can change and people do change.
“It was not nice, I’m not going to lie, but it’s not going to change my life. I go back home to my daughter tonight and that’s the best thing that will happen to me today.
“You heard it – a few idiots on the boundary. They will go home and to work tomorrow and I will have a day off with my daughter and probably have another day off on Monday as well.
“I hope they think about that and we are playing in a final at Lord’s which they will never do.”
Batty made a surprise England return against India last winter, 11 years after his previous Test appearance.
He had two run-ins with Worcestershire supporters in 2010, the summer after he left them to join Surrey. He was abused both during a 40-over match and a subsequent Championship encounter. In the latter incident, shortly after he had been dismissed, he went into the crowd to take issue with a spectator before Ian Salisbury, a member of Surrey’s coaching staff intervened to calm matters. He was later seen in tears.
Surrey’s coach Chris Adams said at the time: “It’s quite sad that he wasn’t afforded respect by the supporters after putting in long service here,” he said. “He’s a feisty lad, plays with a lot of passion and he wears his heart on his sleeve. I’m sure that when he reflects on it, he’ll be disappointed that he allowed himself to react.”