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16 April, 2019 00:00 00 AM
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Smith, Warner recalled for Australia’s WC defence

Afp, Sydney

Steve Smith and David Warner completed their remarkable comeback from the ball-tampering scandal that rocked cricket when they were on Monday selected in defending champion Australia's World Cup squad.

But there was no room for Josh Hazlewood or Peter Handscomb at the tournament in England and Wales.

It is the first call-up for the former captain and his deputy since the expiry last month of year-long bans for their part in “sandpapergate” in Cape Town that had wide repercussions for Australian cricket.

Then-coach Darren Lehmann quit and all the top brass from Cricket Australia left after a scathing review said their “arrogant and controlling” win-at-all-costs culture was partly to blame for players bending the rules.

Both players were eligible for the final two games of Australia's recent limited-overs tour against Pakistan, but selectors preferred that they eased themselves back at the Twenty20 Indian Premier League.

Both grabbed the opportunity and have been in good touch, particularly the bombastic Warner who has made a blistering return.

Their return has left coach Justin Langer with a dilemma on the back of Australia winning eight one-day internationals on the trot, against India and Pakistan.

All the top order have been firing, and it is Handscomb who is the fall guy despite averaging 43 in 13 games this year. The decision to drop him means the team only has one wicketkeeper in Alex Carey.

Australia's recent red-hot form has been built on the back of a rock-solid opening partnership between Finch and Usman Khawaja.

The decision for Langer now is whether to retain that combination when the 50-over World Cup begins at the end of next month or move one of them down to make way for Warner, who traditionally opens the batting.

Australia World Cup squad: Aaron Finch (capt), Usman Khawaja, David Warner, Steve Smith, Shaun Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Alex Carey, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Jhye Richardson, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Jason Behrendorff, Nathan Lyon, Adam Zampa.

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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