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‘Crazy’ not to have Smith, Warner at World Cup – Langer

by Wisden Staff 5 minute read

Justin Langer believes Australia would ‘be crazy’ not to include David Warner and Steve Smith in their squad for this summer’s World Cup.

The two Australian batsmen are currently serving bans for their roles in the Newlands ball-tampering scandal, but will be available to resume their international careers from March 29.

The pair have spent much of their bans playing Australian grade cricket and in various T20 leagues. However, both Smith and Warner had their recent stints in the Bangladesh Premier League cut short after they suffered elbow injuries, for which they underwent surgery last month.

According to Smith’s manager, Warren Craig, the former Australia captain remains on track to be fit in time for the tournament.

Speaking to cricket.com.au, Craig said: “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).

“The intent is that he will play in the IPL and then the World Cup and then the Ashes.”

Nevertheless, Langer believes that the return of both batsmen will have to be managed carefully. “They’re going to need to get some cricket before coming back into the squad,” he said. “It’s all part of the management. We’ll have to wait and see.

Smith and Warner played key roles in Australia’s 2015 World Cup victory

“It’s about how much cricket they get to play between now and then. They’ll find opportunities. We’ll find opportunities.

“We’re talking about two great players, we’re not talking about two really good players ­– two great players who on paper we’d be crazy not to have them in the team.”

The World Cup is set to begin in England on May 30, with teams having to announce their provisional squads for the tournament on April 23.

Australia’s next limited-overs assignment is a tour of India, set to begin later this month, before they visit the UAE in mid-March to take on Pakistan. The series will coincide with the expiration of Smith and Warner’s bans.

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