Smith, Warner return to IPL after ball-tampering row


Their chances of defending the World Cup also received a boost thanks to returns of Steve Smith and David Warner.

The Australian run-machine will be making a return to top-flight after serving a one-year global ban for his involvement in massive ball-tampering scanadal that took place during the four-match Test series against South Africa in March last year. There is no certainty about Smith's participation in either competition, but the former captain is looking forward to being a part of both: "They are both terrific tournaments".

"The boys have been very accepting of us coming in, with open arms".

Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting said that although their bans will expire before the World Cup, winning back their places is not a given, particularly given Australia's blistering recent series victory in India in their absence.

"It's been awesome, it's like we didn't really leave", Warner told

Warner added: "Making sure we're aligned with the team values moving forward, obviously we've been out for 12 months, there's obviously been a big change which is great and it's just about accepting that and playing what our role should be in the team moving forward".

They were not included in Australia's squad for the upcoming ODI series against Pakistan but met players and staff in Dubai on Saturday.

Steve Smith here bowling during Sydney Sixers training a few days before Christmas said he feels there's good energy in the group
Warner and Smith have 'hugs and cuddles' with Australia squad as bans end

Warner, now hipster-bearded, is expected to feature for Sunrisers Hyderabad along with Afghan spin sensation Rashid Khan and New Zealand's Kane Williamson against Kolkata Knight Riders on Sunday.

"What's important is they're really keen to slot back into how this current side works. their respect for the group and everything was fantastic". "It's great to be back around the group, they've been really welcoming and nearly like we've never left".

"It's pretty exciting times ahead for the team and just making sure everyone's on the right path and heading in the same direction".

Langer, who has been vocal in championing their return, said it was like "two brothers coming home". "We'd be very naive if we didn't expect that", Finch said.

"Hitting as many balls as I can, really, over the next week, getting myself into a good rhythm".

Steve Smith and David Warner are nearing returns for Australia.

"(I'll try to) make sure over the next week to get a lot of work in, so that I can probably taper off towards the back-end of the week so I can freshen up and be ready to go on the 25th and hopefully start off the Royals season with a win". "I have been batting for the last two weeks, and yeah able to play all shots". "So those two go in as favourites, Australia will be there as well, and I think the fourth [semi-final] spot literally could be any one of the other sides". I wasn't just a leader of the group trying to pump someone's tyres up to make them play well and give them confidence.

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