IPL 2019: Steve Smith and David Warner will not be available for the entire season

A year-long ban on them will end in March next year.

David Warner and Steve Smith
David Warner and Steve Smith. (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)
Shubham Ghosh

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Though they weren’t allowed to play in the 2018 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL), Australian batting duo of Steve Smith and David Warner are all set to appear in the 2019 edition as they have been retained by their respective franchises. Smith and Warner, former captain and vice-captain of Australia, are currently serving a year-long ban over their involvement in the ball-tampering scandal in South Africa earlier this year.

Smith was supposed to play for Rajasthan Royals, his new team after leading the now-defunct Rising Pune Supergiant to the final in 2017, this year while Warner was to play for the Sunrisers Hyderabad. In their absence, Ajinkya Rahane took up the reins of captaincy for the Royals while New Zealander Kane Williamson led the Sunrisers who finished runners-up in 2018.

On Thursday, it was announced that the duo has been retained by their respective teams on contracts worth about 2.4 million Australian dollars (INR 12.5 crore), the Sydney Morning Herald said.

Why will they not play the whole season?

The ban on Smith and Warner ends on March 29, the same date on which the next edition of the IPL is set to kick off. However, none of the two players will be able to play the entire IPL this time since Cricket Australia (CA) has set up a training camp for the upcoming ICC World Cup in May. The players from the down under who are bound to play the showpiece event will return home in the first week of May.

While the IPL final is scheduled on May 19, the first match of the World Cup scheduled in England and Wales will be played on May 30. The CA is also not approving contracted players in the T20 tournament until after the country’s domestic Sheffield Shield season concludes on April 1, unless of course their team New South Wales fails to make the final.

Both Smith and Warner have been successful captains in the IPL. While Warner went on to lead the Sunrisers to win the trophy in 2016, Smith fell short closely as his Rising Pune Supergiant lost the 2017 final to Mumbai Indians by a solitary run.

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