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Smith & Warner Reunite With Australian Squad in UAE as End of Ban Nears

Cricketnext Staff | Updated: March 17, 2019, 11:09 AM IST
Smith & Warner Reunite With Australian Squad in UAE as End of Ban Nears

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Steve Smith and David Warner met up with the Australian cricket team in UAE just as their year-long suspensions for their involvement in the Newlands ball-tampering scandal are coming to a close.

The Australian team, who are preparing for a five-match ODI series against Pakistan, had the opportunity to clear up any issues and ask anything of the duo whose bans will finish next week.

"It's been awesome," Warner told "It's like we didn't really leave, the boys were very accepting of us coming in and with open arms.

"(There were) a lot of big hugs and cuddles. It's been great. It's good to see the spirit they're in after a great series win in India and I am obviously looking forward to watching them play against Pakistan here and hopefully they win that series as well."

The players were also brought up to speed with the way the team is now expected to function in the aftermath of an independent cultural review that looked to change the way the men’s national team went about with playing the sport.

"I guess it's just been going through the values that are instilled in the team at the moment and making sure we are on the right path looking forward to what's coming up; a huge World Cup and an Ashes series in England," Smith said.

"It's pretty exciting times ahead for the team and just making sure everyone's on the right path and heading in the same direction."

"Making sure that we are aligned with the team values moving forward," Warner added.

"Obviously being out for 12 months there's been a big change, which is great, and it's about just accepting that and playing what our role in the team should be moving forward."

New coach Justin Langer was glad to have the two back, saying their return was akin to ‘two brothers coming home’.

"It's great to have them back in the team. It's like two brothers coming home.

"They have been received really well, we had a good night together last night and had some great meetings today so it's been really positive.

"We set some values probably nine or 10 months ago with the team and then (in the meetings) we just had a look at how we are going with those values and how we can use our values and behaviours to keep moving the team forward on and off the field.

"We talked about making Australians proud. We talked about great cricketers and great people, so this is just a really good opportunity with this time between the Indian series and the Pakistan series just to reset where we are at and reassess where we are at and I think it's been a really worthwhile exercise.

"As a coach when you have got two guys with as many runs and experience as they've got coming back into a team that's playing well, that's very exciting."

Smith and Warner will now play in the Indian Premier League, which gets underway on March 24.
First Published: March 17, 2019, 10:29 AM IST

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