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Smith likely to miss 2019 ICC World Cup: Reports

Australian cricket captain Steve Smith speaks at a news conference in Mumbai, India, on February 14, 2017. Photo: Reuters

Melbourne: Australian cricketer Steve Smith’s comeback from his year-long suspension for ball tampering could get extended due to the shoulder surgery he underwent last month.

The former Australian captain was playing the Bangladesh Premier League for the Comilla Victorians when he aggravated an old injury on his right elbow on 11 January, 2019. He subsequently underwent a surgery in Australia and needed to wear an arm brace for six weeks before undergoing extensive rehabilitation.

 

While his ban ends on 28 March, Smith was expected to make his international comeback in the ODI series against Pakistan in the UAE in March before turning up for the Rajasthan Royals in the Indian Premier League. The 29-year-old was then expected to make the Australian squad for the ICC World Cup that starts late May but ESPNCricinfo is reporting that Cricket Australia are instead planning Smith’s return from injury with a focus on The Ashes, instead of the World Cup.

Instead of making an immediate comeback and targeting the World Cup, the board is reportedly looking at making Smith instead play for Australia A and possibly a Country in England during the time of the big ICC tournament.

Among the other two players who were also suspended for their involvement in the ball-tampering scandal in South Africa last year, Cameron Bancroft has returned to domestic cricket in December while David Warner is slated to make his comeback against Pakistan. Warner too had injured his elbow while playing the Bangladesh Premier League but his minor niggle has reportedly healed in time.