The suspended duo of Steve Smith and David Warner are expected to return to playing cricket on Australian soil on September 22 for their respective club sides in grade cricket.Sutherland, for whom Smith last turned in 2009, will host Mosman at the Glenn McGrath Oval while Warner’s Randwick-Petersham will start off their season against St George at Coogee Oval as the Premier Cricket Season commences in Australia.
Though their final availability is still undecided, it is likely that both Smith and Warner will be playing a fair few games for their sides. However, the duo will not face off till at least November 10 when Sutherland take on Randwick-Petersham in a one-dayer.
Smith and Warner are serving a one year ban for their involvement in the ball tampering fiasco during the Test series against South Africa in March earlier this year. Cameron Bancroft was also banned for nine months after video clips surfaced that saw the rookie opener trying to alter the condition of the ball using a sandpaper.
The trio is not allowed to represent their country during the time frame or compete in domestic competitions in Australia, including the Big Bash League. However, they were encouraged by Cricket Australia to take part on club level in a bid to keep themselves match fit.
All three players have been involved in some form of cricket over the past few months. Smith and Warner turned out for Toronto Nationals and Winnipeg Hawks respectively in Canada’s inaugural Global T20 and had few decent outings throughout the competition. They are also taking part in the ongoing Caribbean Premier League (CPL) 2018.
Bancroft, on the other hand, was part of the NT Strike League in Darwin along with Warner.
First Published: August 14, 2018, 10:59 AM IST