Steve Smith and David Warner will not be rushed back into the Australia side as soon as their bans expire next month but coach Justin Langer thinks it would be “crazy” not to include them in the World Cup squad.
The former test captain and vice-captain, Australia’s best two batsmen, will become eligible for state and international cricket on March 29 after serving one-year bans for their part in the Newlands ball-tampering scandal.
The prospective return of both has been complicated by elbow injuries with Smith’s more serious problem requiring major surgery and likely to sideline him right up to the expiration of his ban.
Coach Langer, who will prepare sides for both the World Cup defence and Ashes tour over the next few months, said the timing of their international returns would depend both on the injuries and also on how much cricket they were able to play.
“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,” he said.