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No Reason Why Smith, Warner and Bancroft Can't Make it Back into the National Side: Langer

Cricketnext Staff | Updated: September 21, 2018, 2:04 PM IST
No Reason Why Smith, Warner and Bancroft Can't Make it Back into the National Side: Langer

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Australian head coach Justin Langer does not see any reason why the banned trio of Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft can't return to play for the national side once their suspension ends next year.

Smith and Warner are serving a 12-month suspension while Bancroft a nine-month sentence following their roles in the ball-tampering scandal that rocked the cricket world during the tour to South Africa in March. While they are not allowed to play any form of domestic or international cricket in Australia during the period, they have been encouraged to play club cricket and participate in various overseas T20 leagues.

The bans of all three players will end before the 2019 Cricket World Cup and 2019 Ashes and Langer expected all three of them to be a big part of the Australian setup next year.

"If our environment's right and they're playing well, there's no reason they shouldn't be welcomed back in to help us win the World Cup and help us win the Ashes next summer," Langer said in Mark Howard's podcast The Howie Games.

"If we can have an environment of great young leaders and welcome those guys back, we can be a real force and perhaps a team that's smiling a lot more than the team was before it happened."

All three players have been involved in some form of cricket in recent times. While Bancroft turned out for Northern Territory Strike in Grade cricket in July, Smith and Warner have been part of the Global T20 league in Canada and the CPL 2018. The former Australian captain and vice-captain will also turn out for their respective clubs Sutherland and Randwick-Petersham in the Sydney Premier cricket this weekend.

Langer was effusive in praise of all three players and expected them to bounce back soon.

"Steve Smith is one of the nicest people you will ever meet in your life. He's also a complete cricket tragic," Langer said. "He's a ripping young bloke. And what a player. As committed to batting and being great as anyone you'll ever meet.

"Cameron is as elite a professional as anyone I've ever met. He was the heartbeat of Western Australia and from all accounts, talking to Darren Lehmann, he was the heartbeat of the Australian team. He is that tough, he would literally cut his legs off to play cricket for Australia. He is that sort of character that you love to have around the place.

"Davey's the marathon man of Australian cricket, people don't remember that. He'd played every single game of cricket. He'd play Test, One Day, T20, IPL, cricket all year round."

Langer also emphasised on how his role was not just to coach the players, but also to make them better people.

"Since the first day I got the job as head coach of Western Australia I always thought my job was to help these guys not only become great cricketers but also become great people," Langer said. "I think it is as important for them to become great cricketers as it is for them to become great Australians and I believe that as the Australian head coach.
First Published: September 21, 2018, 2:04 PM IST
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