Cricket

Surrey interested in banned Australia trio

2018-04-18 09:29
Cameron Bancroft (left) and Steve Smith (Gallo).

Cape Town - Surrey coach Michael Di Venuto has confirmed he would be keen to sign one of Australia's three banned Test stars, if allowed by English administrators.

READ: Morne Morkel signs 2-year Kolpak deal with Surrey

According to the Cricket.com.au website, Di Venuto was Australia's batting coach until 2016 and remains close to both Steve Smith and David Warner, who are serving 12-month bans from international and Australian domestic cricket following the ball-tampering scandal in South Africa.

Cameron Bancroft, who was issued with a nine-month suspension, had his contract with Somerset ripped up following the incident, while Smith and Warner lost their IPL deals, worth $1.9 million each.

Their bans do not prevent them from playing in England, although it would require approval from the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB).

South Africa opener Dean Elgar was signed by Surrey for April and May leaving another overseas spot available for the second half of the season.

Australia play five ODIs and a T20 in England in June this year - which Smith, Warner and Bancroft will miss - and will defend their Cricket World Cup crown in the country next year (for which Smith, Warner and Bancroft will be eligible) followed by an attempt to win a first away Ashes series since 2001.

None of Smith, Warner or Bancroft will have played any first-class cricket in Australia before the start of the World Cup and Di Venuto believes a spell in England would benefit the players and Australia.

"From an Australian perspective, it is probably important that they play a bit of cricket at some stage," Di Venuto said.

"I don't know if they are allowed to play in this competition. I know what it states in their sanctions that they can't play domestic cricket in Australia.

"So, if they are in the right mental state to play cricket and the ECB will have to allow it to start with, then we'd be mad not to look at some of the world's best players potentially playing."

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