Langer: Smith and Warner reintegration 'getting closer'

2019-02-06 21:20
Steve Smith (Getty Images)

Cape Town - Australia coach Justin Langer said the reintegration of David Warner and Steve Smith back into the national team is "getting closer".

Australia will play ODI series' in India and then against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates in March in what will be their last opportunities to set plans in place before the global event.

Smith and Warner are in the final stretch of their 12-month suspension for the ball-tampering incident, and while they will miss the series against India, they will be eligible, from 29 March, to play in the final two ODIs against Pakistan in the UAE.

Only Warner is likely to play that series with Smith needing to recover from a major surgery on his elbow.

Langer said about the two players: "We've got to keep working on how they are with their elbows, first.

"They're going to need to get some cricket before coming back into the squad. It's all part of the management. We'll have to wait and see."

Reports suggest Smith might even sit out of the World Cup, due to the more serious nature of his injury, and might concentrate solely on getting ready for the Ashes, beginning in August.

However, Langer said it was all down to the reintegration process.

The Australia mentor continued: "We know it's been a tough time for them, it's been a tough time for Australian cricket, but we know the word integration has been going for the last nine or 10 months, or 11, it's getting closer isn't it.

"We're talking about two great players, we're not talking about two really good players. Two great players who on paper we'd be crazy not to have them in the team.

"It's about how much cricket they get to play between now and then. They'll find opportunities. We'll find opportunities, but I can't say anything else."

Australia begin their World Cup campaign against Afghanistan in Bristol on June 1.

Read more on:    australia  |  steve smith  |  david warner  |  cricket


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