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Trent Copeland hits back at criticism for Butler and Archer

Former Australian fast bowler Trent Copeland has leapt to the defence of England players Jofra Archer and Jos Butler after the criticism they have received from Day Four of the Second Ashes Test.

Butler and Archer were seen laughing as Australian batsman Steve Smith lay on the ground after succumbing to a bouncer from one of Jofra Archer’s deliveries.

Smith was forced to retire on 80 runs before returning to the match later on.

Speaking with Julian King and Jamie Soward, Copeland says the pair were merely lost in the moment and no malice was meant.

“I wasn’t there, I was there in my lounge room just watching it and I felt sick. As a bowler when you’re in that moment, you are in the heat of the contest trying to wind it up and bowl fast”, he said.

“It’s actually quite confronting and scary because you have got to take that moment of competitiveness out for a second and give the guy space and see if he is ok.”

After appearing not to share their concerns with Smith, Copeland has defended the characters of both Jos Butler and Jofra Archer, saying the criticism they have received is unfair.

“The publicity about the laughing, I mean Jos Butler went over straight away to talk to him. Jos is one of the nicest human beings on Earth, and everything that I’ve heard about Jofra is that he is completely laid back and a really nice guy who plays cricket for the right reasons”, he said.

I have no doubt that that conversation (between Jos and Jofra) would have been about understanding the significance of the moment and trying to tell Jof that it’s going to be ok, so he doesn’t get to clouded up at the moment.”

Click ‘PLAY’ below to listen to the full interview.

(Photo by Philip Brown/Popperfoto via Getty Images)