Steve Smith, David Warner back in Australia's World Cup squad

Silvia Morton
April 15, 2019

The two were recalled to the national team after Australia named their 15-member squad for World Cup beginning May 30 in England and Wales.

Both players also regained their Cricket Australia contracts as the country's new list of contracted players was announced - less than three weeks after becoming eligible for global selection again after bans imposed for their involvement in the ball-tampering scandal in South Africa a year ago.

They have played in this season's Indian Premier League (IPL) for Rajasthan Royals and Sunrisers Hyderabad respectively.

Former skipper Smith and Warner were eligible for Aaron Finch's national side after their 12-month suspensions for ball-tampering ended last month but their return put a squeeze on the batting positions that saw Peter Handscomb drop out. A top-order batsman who can also double up as a back-up wicketkeeper, Handscomb's good recent form had made him a strong contender in the Australia line-up. His 117-run innings in Mohali was pivotal in Australia chasing down 359 against India, their highest chase in ODI history. Mitchell Starc, who has not featured in any of Australia's last 13 ODIs, will lead their pace attack. Warner has so far amassed 400 runs in only eight outings at a superb average of 80 and looks set to be the main player for Australia in the World Cup. But with an Ashes series to immediately follow the World Cup, selectors have instead opted for Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Jhye Richardson, Nathan Coulter-Nile and Jason Behrendorff as their five fast-bowling options. Squads can be changed until 23 May without ICC permission.

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The Victorian's ability to keep wickets even had some pundits predicting he would take the gloves ahead of Alex Carey, but the South Australian has held his spot and is the sole gloveman in the squad.

2019/20 CA men's contracts: Pat Cummins, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Alex Carey, Aaron Finch, Usman Khawaja, Peter Handscomb, Marcus Harris, Travis Head, Josh Hazlewood, Nathan Lyon, Glenn Maxwell, Shaun Marsh, Tim Paine, James Pattinson, Jhye Richardson, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, David Warner, Adam Zampa.

He added that there had been some tough calls to make given the depth of talent available, but was happy to see Smith and Warner return to the worldwide fold.

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