Surrey flirt with the idea of signing Steve Smith or David Warner

(Photo: Getty Images)

By Adam Ellis

Surrey head coach Michael Di Venuto has confirmed banned Australians Steve Smith and David Warner could be signed by the county for this season.

Di Venuto retains a good rapport with the star batsmen from the three years he spent as Australia’s batting coach before moving to the Kia Oval in 2016 to replace Graham Ford.

And the Tasmanian said there was a chance for Smith or Warner to bring their talents to Surrey after Mitchell Marsh underwent surgery on an ankle injury last week.

“I don’t know if they are allowed to play in this competition, Di Venuto said. “I know what it states in their sanctions that they can’t play domestic cricket in Australia.

“We have got a relationship with Mitch to see how he goes with his ankle but we have got a spot we have got to fill as well.

“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.”

“From an Australian perspective, it is probably important that they play a bit of cricket at some stage.”

Surrey signed Dean Elgar as cover for Marsh last week, but the South African will link up with the Proteas at the beginning of June as part of their preparations for a tour of Sri Lanka.

That will leave the door open for Surrey to discuss a move for Smith or Warner, the Australia captain and vice-captain duo who were banned from the national team for 12 months for their part in the ball-tampering scandal in South Africa.

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