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Smith-Warner Return in Planning Phase: Cricket Australia CEO

Cricketnext Staff | Updated: December 26, 2018, 5:12 AM IST
Smith-Warner Return in Planning Phase: Cricket Australia CEO

File image of David Warner. (AP Image)

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Cricket Australia CEO Kevin Roberts said that the board is in talks about the return of the banned duo Steve Smith and David Warner to the Australian cricket team.

Smith and Warner were banned for a year by the CA for their role in the ball-tampering scandal that broke out in South Africa earlier in the year. The duo will be free to return to competitive cricket in March which is when Australia might be in the middle of a five-match ODI series against Pakistan, and the board are yet to decide whether they will be selected for that series.

"We've had some good early discussions. We're also conscious that we've got a bit over three months to prepare," Roberts told AAP. "We're in the planning phase. If the draft dates of the Pakistan series remain as they are then it's possible the players will be eligible for selection for the final two matches. That is something we need to consider over these coming weeks."

The venue for Australia’s ODI series is still undecided though as Pakistan are hoping to bring international cricket back to its shores. Australia though, have not toured Pakistan in two decades due to security issues, a point that Roberts says will be priority when deciding about the tour.

"We share Pakistan's desire to see more international cricket returning to Pakistan but we've made it really clear that our first priority in that regard is the safety of our players," Roberts said. "We'll never compromise the safety of our players. We've also made it clear that we'll be taking advice from the experts. At this stage the advice hasn't changed but we'll continue working through that over the next couple of months."

Earlier in the week in Melbourne, Australian coach Justin Langer had also said that the team management was looking to work out the best possible way to integrate the players returning but insisted there hadn’t been any concrete decision.

"There's potential for that, but that's part of the process," Langer had said in Melbourne on Monday. "There's lots of conversations going on about what's best for our bowlers, for the guys returning, and we'll work through that. We'll get the best outcome for Australian cricket and for them personally, but there's been no decisions made at this stage."
First Published: December 25, 2018, 2:44 PM IST
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