Published: Thu, February 07, 2019
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

Steve Smith could miss World Cup as ball-tampering ban faces delay

Steve Smith could miss World Cup as ball-tampering ban faces delay

Smith and fellow banned star David Warner will be eligible for global selection from March 29 onward after their year-long bans, with the IPL also scheduled to begin on the same date.

Smith and Warner's 12-month bans for the sorry episode in Cape Town, where they deliberately tried to alter the ball, expire next month and they look set to return in the wake of Australia's batting struggles. The surgery requires him to be in a brace for about six weeks before an extended period of rehabilitation.

"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)", Smith's manager, Warren Craig told cricket.com.au. "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. It's all part of the management. "We are working with Steve to ensure he is ready to return to play as soon as practical", a Cricket Australia spokesperson said. "We know how good they are and hopefully once their bans are up they'll be welcomed back and they will win Test matches like they did before", said Paine.

"We're talking about two great players".

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.

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Both Smith and Warner will be available for state and worldwide cricket as of March 29 but injuries are likely to impact on their potential comebacks.

With his ban ending on 28 March, Smith was expected to make his global comeback in the ODI series against Pakistan in the UAE in March before turning up for the Rajasthan Royals in the Indian Premier League.

While Warner too is nursing an elbow injury, his return is expected to be on track once his suspension ends.

2019 cricket World Cup is slated to be held from May 30 to July 14 in England.

Justin Langer had stated in a press-conference after Australia's win over Sri Lanka in Canberra that it would be "crazy" not to pick Smith and Warner for the World Cup as they were "great players".

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