• Langer starts Smith, Warner reintegration

    Coach Justin Langer has commenced batsmen Steven Smith and David Warner’s reintegration into Australia’s activities.

    Smith and Warner are currently serving bans from international cricket for their involvement in the ball-tampering saga that rocked the tour of South Africa earlier this year. The bans will end in fourth months.

    The duo have been practising with Langer’s men – and the coach has met with them individually to talk about the way forward.

    “There’s going to be a process for the boys to come back and it is really important we start working on that process from now,’ said Langer.

    ‘We can’t get to the point and just say ”right, they’re back”. It’s not fair on them, it’s not fair on the team, it’s not fair on everyone.  I had breakfast with [Steve] on Monday morning and I caught up with Dave for a couple of hours that afternoon as well.

    ‘I didn’t deliberately catch up with them separately. I caught up with Dave in Brisbane before we went to the United Arab Emirates because I wanted to see him face to face. It’s one thing exchanging text messages and emails, you have to talk face to face.

    ‘We had a great catch-up. It was the first time I’d seen Steven the other day. I wanted it to be between us because there’s lots to be spoken about and then over time we’ll bring the brotherhood together and everything will be okay. It was great.’

    Test opener Cameron Bancroft was also involved in the ball-tampering saga, but was handed a shorter ban than Smith and Warner. He will be available before the end of the year.

    ‘I speak to Cameron a bit. They’ve been through a tough 12 months, they’ve been penalised for making a really big mistake, no doubt about that, but we’ve got to get them into the group and every opportunity we get is a positive one,’ added Langer.

    Image: Getty

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