‘No reason’ why Smith, Warner and Bancroft shouldn’t be welcomed back in 2019, says Langer

By Bradley West

Australia head coach Justin Langer has thrown his support behind the reintegration of banned trio Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft back into the national fold in 2019.

Former Australian captain Smith and opening batsman Warner are currently serving year-long bans from international cricket while batsman Bancroft is dealing with a nine month stint following the fallout from the ball tampering scandal in March.

Langer, despite all the anger the ball-tampering saga generated, is keen to move beyond the chaotic affair and reintegrate the three men if their performances merit it once their respective bans end, with an eye on the World Cup and Ashes, both taking place in England next year.

Speaking to Australian podcast The Howie Show, Langer said: “If our environment’s right and they’re playing well, there’s no reason they shouldn’t be welcomed back in to help us win the World Cup and help us win the Ashes next summer.

“If we can have an environment of great young leaders and welcome those guys back, we can be a real force and perhaps a team that’s smiling a lot more than the team was before it happened.”

In the meantime, current Australian captain Tim Paine has called for ‘patience’ as his side gear up to face Pakistan in a two Test series in the United Arab Emirates.

Australia named a squad light on experience, calling up five uncapped players while there was no place for either Glenn Maxwell or Peter Handscomb in the 15-man line-up.

Paine told Cricket Australia’s website: “We are going to have to play really hard, tough cricket particularly from the batting side. And then in the heat over there, it’s the same for our bowlers; it’s going to be about patience, trying to wear them down and being in a position late in the game where we can make a move.”

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