Cricket World Cup 2019: Smith and Warner return for Australia

d6664330 david warner and steve smith 1200x800 - Cricket World Cup 2019: Smith and Warner return for Australia

Disgraced Australia pair Steve Smith and David Warner return to their national team squad for the Cricket World Cup having served their Cricket Australia-imposed bans for bringing the game into disrepute.

The pair have not played international cricket since their ban in the wake of the sandpaper ball-tampering incident in Cape Town in March 2018.

Smith and Warner rejoined the Indian Premier League for the 2019 campaign after both were excluded from the competition in 2018 by order of the Board for Control of Cricket in India (BCCI). Their IPL participation prevented them from being part of the recent ODI series whitewash of Pakistan in the UAE.

Aaron Finch retains the Australia ODI captaincy for the Cricket World Cup 2019 tournament.

Fast bowler Josh Hazelwood lost his race to be fit in time for Australia’s defence of their world title, he sustained a stress fracture to his spine during the historic Test series loss to India at the turn of the year.

Australia have picked two spinners in Adam Zampa and Nathan Lyon to support a five-strong pace attack made up of of Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins, Jason Behrendorff, Jhye Richardson and Nathan Coulter-Nile. Starc, Coulter-Nile and Richardson will need to shrug of existing injuries if they are to make it to the tournament. The pacemen are expected to have recovered in time for Australia’s warm-up matches.

Peter Handscomb is one of a trio of players included in the squad to face Pakistan who misses out on the World Cup. Handscomb’s ability to don the wicketkeeping gloves in a pinch was not enough for him to hold onto his place in the group. Australia have opted for just one wicketkeeper in the squad in the form of Alex Carey.

On the omissions of Handscomb, Ashton Turner and Kane Richardson, Chief selector Trevor Hohns said: “Given the depth of talent and competition for spots there were a number of tough calls we had to make to settle on our squad of 15.

“Unfortunately, from the recent squad which toured India and the UAE, Peter Handscomb, Ashton Turner and Kane Richardson have made way for the above inclusions [Smith, Warner and Starc], but all three have been included in the Australia A squad for the tour of England.

“Josh Hazlewood has also been named in the Australia A squad. Having not played at the highest level for some time, we feel this will provide him with the best preparation to get some quality cricket under his belt. Our focus is to have Josh back bowling at his best for the commencement of a big Ashes Tour.”

The World Cup gets underway on May 30 2019 at the Oval when the Proteas meet hosts England.

The Black Caps of New Zealand were the first side to name their squad.

Australia Cricket World Cup 2019 squad: Aaron Finch (capt), David Warner, Usman Khawaja, Steve Smith, Shaun Marsh, Alex Carey, Marcus Stoinis, Glenn Maxwell, Mitchell Starc, Jhye Richardson, Pat Cummins, Jason Behrendorff, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Adam Zampa, Nathan Lyon.

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