Cricket Australia’s announcement of the squad to play five one-day internationals in Pakistan has confirmed that Steve Smith and David Warner’s can be available for the first round games of the Indian Premier League season 12.
However, fitness and injuries may still be a concern for the duo.
Warner and Smith have both not been picked for the Pakistan ODI series even as both could have qualified for selection for the fourth and the fifth ODIs after having completed their one-year suspension term in connection with the ball tampering incident on Australia’s tour of South Africa last year.
Australia will play the five-match One Day International series with Pakistan at Abu Dhabi from March 22 to 31. Whereas Sunrisers Hyderabad play their IPL opener against Kolkata Knight Riders on March 23, and Rajasthan Royals host Kings XI Punjab the next day.
Had the duo been picked for the Pakistan ODI series, they would have missed at least three IPL games each. Besides their respective first games, both the teams have a game each in hand on March 29 and 31. The teams will be against each other on March 29.
Smith and Warner have been excluded from Australia’s upcoming tour of the United Arab Emirates as the selectors retained the squad currently touring India to ensure continuity ahead of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019.
Australia play Pakistan in a five-match one-day international series – their final lot of ODIs ahead the World Cup. Smith and Warner, who are currently serving year-long bans for last year’s ball-tampering scandal, will be eligible for selection on 29 March, the day of the fourth ODI.
However, there is uncertainty surrounding their returns, with both players suffering elbow injuries at the 2018-19 Bangladesh Premier League. Warner is expected to be near the end of his recovery and has already stated his intent to play grade cricket in Australia to prepare for his national comeback. However, there is no clarity yet on a return for Smith, who suffered a more serious injury.