Thursday, 18 April, 2019

Smith, Warner return to IPL after ball-tampering row

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       Shane Warne believes Steve Smith and David Warner should walk straight back into the Australia team when their 1:58 Shane Warne believes Steve Smith and David Warner should walk straight back into the Australia team when their
Cassandra Castillo | 19 March, 2019, 14:25

Shane Warne expects Steve Smith and David Warner to walk straight back into the Australia side when their worldwide bans expire at the end of the month and believes the pair can win the World Cup this year.

Smith and Warner were suspended for 12 months for their roles in a ball-tampering scandal in South Africa a year ago and can return to top-level cricket at the end of the month.

Smith, who was stripped of the captaincy and is barred from being considered for any leadership role for a further 12 months after his ban ends, echoed Warner's comments. Smith said the Dubai catch-up went 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's Australian teammate David Warner, who was also involved in the scandal, joined his respective team.

"The spirits are really high, the boys have had a few down days and slowly getting ready for the upcoming series against Pakistan, but it's been great to be back around the group, they've been really welcoming again and it's nearly like we never left so everything's on the right track". "I am sure the fans will come out in big numbers and support us", Smith said. "Everything's on the right track".

Since the drama of Cape Town, the Australian men's cricket team has been on a mission to rebuild its image and to do away with the win-at-all-costs culture that inquests say directly led to the cheating scandal. "Obviously (we've) been out for 12 months and there has been a big change, which is great, and it's about accepting that and playing what our role should be in the team".

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Former Australia captain Steve Smith is just days away from the end of his year-long ban. "I love playing in India, the IPL is a terrific tournament and the elbow is tracking really well, I've been batting for the last two weeks and able to play all shots and got my power back", he said.

Smith said that his elbow was recovering well, after surgery that prompted speculation he could miss the World Cup. They are not bad people, they just made a bad mistake.

Shane Warne was an innovator on the cricket field and now off it as well as he helped launch the first Indian Premier League academy in the UK.

"There were a lot of big hugs and cuddles", Warner said.

Australia coach Justin Langer said it was like two brothers returning home. They have done their time. It's just a really good opportunity with this time between the Indian series and the Pakistan series just to reset where we're at, reassess where we're at. "I'm really excited to play with him".

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