Smith, Warner may return from ban in Pakistan ODI series

Updated 25 Dec 2018

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David Warner and Steve Smith were banned from international cricket for 12 months for involvement in ball-tampering. — File photo
David Warner and Steve Smith were banned from international cricket for 12 months for involvement in ball-tampering. — File photo

MELBOURNE: Australia coach Justin Langer said on Monday there is “potential” for Steve Smith and David Warner to feature in the One-day International series against Pakistan in the UAE just days after their ball-tampering suspensions are served.

A five-match ODI series to be hosted by Pakistan has long been mooted for March next year as teams look to fine-tune for next year’s World Cup in England. It had been pencilled in between March 15 and 29, but new reports suggest Pakistan has proposed hosting Australia from March 31 to April 13.

The year-long suspensions of Smith and Warner expire on March 29. If those dates are confirmed, it could see the banned duo return to the Australian team within 48 hours of their suspension lifting and the five matches could be valuable for Langer to refine the reintegration of the players ahead of the World Cup.

“There’s potential for that, but that’s part of the process (to work through to reintegrate the banned players),” Langer told reporters. “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,” he added.

Published in Dawn, December 25th, 2018