Major elbow surgery might not allow Steve Smith to feature in World Cup 2019

Veteran duo is currently serving an year long exile after the ball-tampering incident.

David Warner and Steve Smith | Getty

Steve Smith and David Warner remain an integral part of Australia's plans for the ICC Cricket World Cup in England and Wales. But the veteran duo will have to attain full-fitness before the marquee ODI event, said head coach Justin Langer. 

Warner had surgery on the injury he sustained during the Bangladesh Premier League(BPL), while Steve Smith is still in a brace which will be removed only towards the end of this month. They are both slated for a return from their one-year-long ban following proven involvement in the ball-tampering saga before the limited overs tour of UAE. 

"We've got to keep working on how they are with their elbows first," Langer was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au, "They're going to need to get some cricket leading into hopefully coming back into the squad. It's all part of the management. We'll have to wait and see what happens there."

Australia plays five ODIs against Pakistan in April after the one-day tour of India. Their respective bans end on March 29 and the veteran pair could be available for the latter half of that series. 

In case that doesn't transpire, the Indian Premier League(IPL), in which both Warner and Smith have been retained by Sunrisers Hyderabad and Rajasthan Royals, will be their last chance to get some invaluable match practice. 

"(It's about) how much cricket they get to play between now and then, but I'm sure we'll find opportunities,"  Langer added, "They'll find opportunities … but I can't see anything else (stopping them). We're talking about two great players."

"We're not talking about two really good players, they're two great players who, on paper, we'd be crazy not to have them in the team (for the World Cup)."

"We know it's been a tough time for them, it's been a tough time for Australian cricket. And the … integration has been going for the last nine or ten months, or eleven, it's getting closer, isn't it? And that'll be a continuous process," he concluded. 


By Kashish Chadha - 05 Feb, 2019

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