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IPL a good test for Smith, Warner: Hohns

Chairman of selectors Trevor Hohns says an all-star cast of bowlers in the Indian Premier League will be a good test for Steve Smith and David Warner.

IPL a good test for Smith, Warner: Hohns

Chairman of selectors Trevor Hohns says an all-star cast of bowlers in the Indian Premier League will be a good test for Steve Smith and David Warner.

Australian selector TREVOR HOHNS looks on ahead of game one of the One Day International series between India and Australia at Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium in Hyderabad, India.
Australian selector TREVOR HOHNS looks on ahead of game one of the One Day International series between India and Australia at Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium in Hyderabad, India. Picture:Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images

Cricket Australia has always had a love-hate relationship with the Indian Premier League, now it is using the Twenty20 extravaganza as Steve Smith and David Warner's World Cup proving ground.

Smith and Warner have been left out of Australia's 15-man squad for this month's ODI series in the UAE, as AAP reported would be the case last month.


The disgraced duo's year-long suspensions for their role in the Cape Town cheating scandal expire later this month and they could have played the final two ODIs against Pakistan, on March 29 and March 31.

Smith and Warner's elbow injuries ultimately made it an easy call for CA, who decided the former captain and vice-captain's reintegration will instead come during a World Cup training camp in Brisbane in early May.

They have been left to focus on finding form and fitness during the IPL, which starts on March 23.

The T20 tournament will give Smith and Warner a golden chance to show they've still got it against an all-star cast of bowlers, including Jasprit Bumrah, Kagiso Rabada, Kuldeep Yadav and Lasith Malinga.

"It will be a good test for them," chairman of selectors Trevor Hohns said.

"Having been out of the game for some time, it is important they get back and play. And play against the really good bowlers."

Hohns, asked what Smith and Warner need to show in India to seal their World Cup selection, noted "the main thing for them and us is to have them playing competitive cricket".

"Obviously it'd be nice to see them perform," Hohns said.

"But it's just a matter of playing. We all know they're two of the better players in world cricket, so it's only natural we will take them seriously into consideration."

The IPL, staged during Australian players' leave period, has always presented a unique challenge for CA.

The exposure to fanatical Indian crowds, subcontinent conditions and the world's best are all positives.

However in 2017, workload concerns prompted former team-performance boss Pat Howard to pitch the idea of lucrative multi-year contracts to Smith, Warner, Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins that would prevent them from playing in the IPL.

Most Australian players are skipping this year's IPL ahead of a marathon winter in England, where Australia will attempt to retain both the World Cup and Ashes.

The IPL blacklisted Smith and Warner last year following the ball-tampering furore, ensuring they each missed out on $2.4 million.

They're now back in favour, at Rajasthan Royals and Sunrisers Hyderabad respectively.

"Cricket Australia will continue to liaise with both Steve, David and their IPL clubs to monitor progress as we build towards the ICC World Cup and the Ashes," Hohns said.

AAP


AAP




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