• Banned Smith set for longer stint on the sidelines

    Former Australia captain Steven Smith’s return to international cricket will likely be delayed by elbow surgery.

    Smith is currently serving a ban from Test, ODI and T20I competitions for his involvement in the ball-tampering saga that marred Australia’s Test series against South Africa last year.

    The suspension, however, does not disallow him from competing in domestic leagues around the world. He has played in the Caribbean Premier League, Global T20 Canada tournament and Bangladesh Premier League since the sanction was imposed.

    The elbow injury has put the 29-year-old’s participation for the Indian Premier League in doubt – perhaps also for Australia’s World Cup campaign in the United Kingdom.

    ‘Steve will undergo surgery on Tuesday to repair a ligament in his right elbow. He is expected to wear a brace for six weeks before commencing rehabilitation. Return to playing time frames will be clearer once the brace has been removed,’ said a Cricket Australia spokesperson.

    Batsmen David Warner was also banned for ball-tampering and is playing for the Sylhet Sixers in the ongoing Bangladesh Premier League. Test opener Cameron Bancroft’s suspension, also for ball-tampering, ended late last year. He has since returned to professional cricket in Australia via a stint with the Perth Scorchers in the Big Bash League.

    ‘We’re good people, very honest and passionate people. Dave, like Steve, all of us, we’ve all gone through our challenges, haven’t we? I look forward to a day where I can go out and play cricket with Dave again. He’s a quality cricketer and someone who has achieved so much in that cricket team,’ Bancroft was quoted as saying by Sydney Morning Herald recently.

    ‘As a player like myself, you strive to be able to be around guys like that. We’ve kept in touch. He’s in Bangladesh at the moment, enjoying his cricket. We wish him all the best.’

    Photo: Gallo

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