Steve Smith and David Warner, who were recalled for the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup, gained succor from former and current England players. After the duo served their year-long ban, everyone was expecting their name in the World Cup squad. They did find their spots in the squad announced on April 15 and this decision by Cricket Australia has been backed by the English players. Chris Woakes and Alex Hales, both named in England’s preliminary World Cup squad, have eulogized the duo — Smith and Warner.
Hales is of the opinion that comeback of Smith and Warner will further strengthen the Australia side. “They are a strong team and with Warner and Smith coming back that adds to it. To have just gone and beaten India and Pakistan away means no-one will be taking them lightly whatsoever, especially adding Smith and Warner back to that mix. I think they could be a really formidable outfit and I’m sure they’ll fancy their chances of defending the World Cup,” Cricket.com.au quoted Hales, as saying.
While Chris Woakes, who hit the headlines when he was quoted saying that it would be ‘morally unfair’ to call Barbados-born fast bowler Jofra Archer for the World Cup, stated that it would have been silly not to include them. “Players of the quality of Warner and Smith, I think they’d have been silly not to include them from a playing point of view,” said Woakes.
“What they did wasn’t great for the game but a year out of cricket is a very long time. I think you have to learn to forgive in this world and they’ve done their time. Hopefully, it’s now time to move on and I hope for their sakes they let their cricket do the talking,” he added.
A former player, Nasser Hussain, too came in to support Smith and Warner saying that the duo has served their time. “They’ve done the crime and served the time. Some people would say a year’s too long or wasn’t long enough. They’ve done it, people make mistakes, move on,” Hussain said.
“Are Australia a better side with Warner and Smith in it? Of course, they are. Would I have picked Smith and Warner? Absolutely. They’re two very fine cricketers,” he added. In March last year, Smith and Warner were handed a year-long ban for their involvement in the ball tampering scandal during the third test against South Africa.
Australia will start their World Cup campaign against Afghanistan on June 1.