IPL 2019: Steve Smith resumes batting in nets; Australia and Rajasthan Royals breathe a sigh of relief
However, coach Justin Langer has hinted that both players may not play in the Pakistan ODI series and can use the IPL to make their comebacks in the Australian team.
Updated - Mar 1, 2019 1:42 pm
Former Australia skipper Steve Smith is days away from being eligible to play for Australia as his ban comes to an end shortly. However, there was a scare for the Australia team, who are hoping that their premier batsman will be available for the upcoming World Cup in England; as Smith hurt his elbow during the Bangladesh Premier League.
Steve Smith underwent a surgery and rehab period and his return date was not confirmed. This proved to be a major issue for both Australia and his IPL team Rajasthan Royals. Meanwhile, Smith had also missed the ongoing Pakistan Super League where he was set to play for Multan Sultans. Questions were also raised on his participation in IPL and World Cup.
But now both Australia and Rajasthan Royals can breathe a sigh of relief as the right-handed batsman has come back in nets and was seen hitting some balls in a video clip posted by him on his Instagram account. He was batting in his New South Wales shirt.
Steve Smith and his then deputy David Warner were both banned for a year along with opener Cameron Bancroft, who was banned for nine months for their roles in the now infamous ball-tampering scandal in Cape Town Test in South Africa. Bancroft’s ban ended in December of 2018 and he returned to play in the Big Bash League and recently scored a century on his Sheffield Shield return.
Like Smith, Warner also suffered an elbow injury and underwent treatment, as his stint in BPL was also cut short. The ban of both players is set to end on March 28, 2019, and they will be eligible to play in the last two games of the five-match series against Pakistan in UAE.
However, coach Justin Langer has hinted that both players may not play in the Pakistan ODI series and can use the IPL to make their comebacks in the Australian team. Smith and Warner were also banned by BCCI and were not allowed to play in IPL 2018 after being banned by Cricket Australia. This year, however, Smith was retained by Rajasthan Royals and David Warner will be seen playing for Sunrisers Hyderabad.
Watch Steve Smith return to nets here:
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