Steve Smith and David Warner won't be rushed back into Australia side

Lynette Rowe
February 8, 2019

With the full summer of Test cricket behind them, Cricket Australia has redirected all efforts for defending the World Cup title, with white-ball contests in India and UAE (against Pakistan) rounding off their preparations.

Steve Smith's road to the World Cup is a complicated one.

Former Australia captain Steve Smith, whose ban in the wake of the ball-tampering scandal is due to end by March, may miss out on the ICC World Cup beginning May. "We've got to keep working on how they are with their elbows first", Langer said after both players went under the knife last month. "I think those two have got plenty of runs in the bank if you like", Paine said when asked if they could slot straight back in.

The ban on Smith and his former vice-captain David Warner will be lifted on March 29 and the pair of them will be eligible for worldwide selection. It's all part of the management.

"Look, I see us going to the Ashes and them having a huge part in us winning the series".

While Warner and Smith will not be available for the India series, they will be available for selection for the final two games of the Pakistan series.

Paine was pleased with the way his team played against Sri Lanka and felt they would have defeated any opposition in the world with those performances. Cricket Australia has remained tight-lipped about the matter and instead issued a non-committal statement in this regard.

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However, despite original speculation about team culture considerations, Langer declared that the only possible obstacle to the high profile stars playing the World Cup would be match practice.

"Until the brace comes off we don't know for sure but all current opinion is that he'll then have about three and a half weeks (before being ready to play)", quoted Craig, as saying.

"We've probably still got a little bit of work to do but I think we're on the right track".

The IPL season gets underway on March 29, the same day Smith and Warner were set to return from suspension before suffering their respective elbow injuries whilst playing in the Bangladesh Premier League.

The IPL starts on March 23, with Smith racing the clock to even be fit for the start of the tournament.

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"That's been going on for some time now", he said.

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