Steve Smith, David Warner set to join Australian team in UAE before IPL
The visit will help the two get accustomed to the environment in the dressing room.
Updated - Mar 12, 2019 9:54 am
Speculations were high that Steve Smith and David Warner would make their much-awaited return to international cricket through the upcoming five-match ODI series against Australia. The 12-month ban imposed on the duo in the wake of the ball-tampering scandal in the Cape Town Test last March will end on March 28. As a result, they were eligible for the final two games in UAE.
However, Cricket Australia sprung a big surprise by not naming either of the two in the squad. It was a big surprise considering that the series will be Australia’s last international assignment before they fly to England to defend their World Cup title. Well, days after snubbing their former captain and vice-captain from the squad, Cricket Australia has now decided to start their formal reintegration in the team from the same series.
According to a report in Cricket Australia’s official website, Warner and Smith are set to catch up with Australia’s ODI squad in Dubai prior to joining their respective Indian Premier League franchises that begins on March 23. The latest development is a big sign that Warner and Smith are all but sure of playing the World Cup. Both the players were instrumental when Australia had won the World Cup at home four years ago. While Smith was the top-scorer for Australia, Warner was second in the spot, helping their team win a record fifth World Cup.
The upcoming visit will give the batting stalwarts a chance to reconnect with teammates and support staff. The visit will also help the two get accustomed to the environment in the dressing room which has undergone major changes since Justin Langer replaced Darren Lehmann as head coach.
Warner and Smith eye impressive return to IPL
In the wake of the ball-tampering scandal, the BCCI had also not allowed the two players to ply their trades in last year’s IPL. However, it had not stopped the franchises from retaining the two stars. Both the players were important parts of their respective teams and were the captains before being banned.
Smith will return to Rajasthan Royals camp while Warner, who led Sunrisers Hyderabad to the title in 2016, will once again don the Orange jersey.