Steve Smith and David Warner’s year-long international exile has come to an end following their inclusion in Australia’s squad for the Cricket World Cup.
Smith and Warner were stripped of their roles as captain and vice-captain respectively and banned for 12 months for their involvement in a ball-tampering scandal during the Test series against South Africa in March 2018.
Their suspensions expired last month and the pair – who did not feature in the one-day international series against Pakistan in the Middle East – will be in action at the World Cup in England, starting in June.
However, the 15-man squad – led by captain Aaron Finch – does not include in-form batsman Peter Handscomb and fast bowler Josh Hazlewood, while the likes of D’Arcy Short, Kane Richardson, Ashton Turner and Matthew Wade also missed out.
Handscomb has averaged 43 in 13 games this year, including a maiden ODI hundred against Indian, but there is no room for the Victorian following Smith and Warner’s return.
Despite being sidelined since January due to injury, Hazlewood was confident of earning a World Cup spot but Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Jhye Richardson, Nathan Coulter-Nile and Jason Behrendorff are Australia’s preferred pace options.
Starc and Richardson’s inclusion for the showpiece 50-over tournament is subject to fitness.
The full squad captained by Aaron Finch reads, Jason Behrendorff, Alex Carey, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Pat Cummins, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Shaun Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Jhye Richardson, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, David Warner, Adam Zampa