The duo, banned by CA for their part in the ball-tampering scandal, will be done with their year-long suspensions in March 2019.
The duo, banned by CA for their part in the ball-tampering scandal, will be done with their year-long suspensions in March 2019. © Getty
Cricket Australia chief executive Kevin Roberts said that him, alongside the board’s head honchos, are in the ‘planning phase’ regarding Steven Smith and David Warner’s reintegration into the Australia team.
The duo, banned by CA for their part in the ball-tampering scandal, will be done with their year-long suspensions in March 2019, freeing them up to play in the yet-to-be-confirmed five-match ODI series against Pakistan. Whether the duo will be selected midway through that series is something the think-tank needs to decide.
“We’ve had some good early discussions. We’re also conscious that we’ve got a bit over three months to prepare,” Roberts told AAP. “We’re in the planning phase. If the draft dates of the Pakistan series remain as they are then it’s possible the players will be eligible for selection for the final two matches. That is something we need to consider over these coming weeks.”
The comments from Roberts echo those made by Australia head coach, Justin Langer.
“There’s potential for that, but that’s part of the process,” Langer had told reporters in Melbourne on Monday (December 24). “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.”
The series against Pakistan is likely to be held in the UAE, although Pakistan are trying to get the Australians to play the matches in Pakistan itself – a country Australia haven’t toured since 1998 because of security issues. Roberts said that the safety of the players will remain CA’s priority while deciding whether to tour Pakistan.
“We share Pakistan’s desire to see more international cricket returning to Pakistan but we’ve made it really clear that our first priority in that regard is the safety of our players,” Roberts said. “We’ll never compromise the safety of our players. We’ve also made it clear that we’ll be taking advice from the experts. At this stage the advice hasn’t changed but we’ll continue working through that over the next couple of months.”