Banned Australian players Steve Smith and David Warner were not included in the squad for the one-day international series against Pakistan in UAE despite being eligible for the final two games after their ball-tampering ban expires.
Australia named an unchanged 15-member squad from the current tour of India. Australian selector Trevor Hohns said that it would be better for the star duo if they return through the Indian Premier League 2019.
“After consultation with members of the National Selection Panel, Greg Chappell and Head Coach Justin Langer, Interim EGM Team Performance Belinda Clark, CA Medical Team and both players, it has been agreed Steve Smith and David Warner will not be available for selection for the final two matches of the series against Pakistan,” Hohns said in a statement.
“While their bans will be finished on March 28, Steve and David have been working through rehabilitation from elbow surgery and it has been agreed the best pathway for them to return to play is in the Indian Premier League, a strong competition which features some of the world's best players.”
After the expiry of their ban on March 28, Steve Smith and David Warner will play against each other in their first match. David Warner’s Sunrisers Hyderabad and Steve Smith’s Rajasthan Royals are scheduled to play a match on March 29, a day after the Australian duo will return. It will be interesting to see their cricket comeback infront of a huge audience.
The dates for 2019 edition of Indian Premier League has been announced by the organisers. Defending champions Chennai Super Kings will play Virat Kohli-led Royal Challengers Bangalore in the opener on March 23 in Chennai’s Chepauk Stadium.
However, the dates announced are only for first seventeen matches, where each team will play a minimum of 4 matches each while Delhi and Bangalore will play five matches. Every team will play two away and two home matches with Delhi playing three home matches and Bangalore playing three away games.