Aaron Finch, the Australia limited-overs captain, welcomed the returns of David Warner and Steve Smith, and expressed confidence that the duo’s reintegration into the team would be seamless.
Smith and Warner were named in Australia’s 15-man squad for the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019 that was announced on Monday, 15 April. The World Cup is set to be the first international tournament back for both players, after they were handed year-long bans by Cricket Australia for their involvement in the Cape Town ball-tampering incident.
“As far as I’m concerned, they’ve done everything they’ve been asked [to] in these last 12 months,” Finch said. “They were very good around the group and continuing to do everything they can that’s in the best interests of the side, and that’s a real key.
“Knowing them both personally as well as I do, I don’t think that will be any kind of issue whatsoever. They’re both great guys and I can’t see there being any kinds of issues.”
Australia have made a fresh start since the duo’s bans, under Finch in the limited-overs formats, and Tim Paine in Test cricket, alongside new head coach Justin Langer. They have repeatedly stressed on a cultural overhaul and having identified a new way forward for the team and its conduct on the field going forward.
Smith and Warner have already been introduced to that new culture, when they spent time with the squad in the United Arab Emirates, ahead of the five-match one-day international series against Pakistan.
Trevor Hohns, the chairman of selectors, said that members from the CA board have been in touch with the players, to make sure they fall in line with what is going to be expected from them when they eventually return.
“There have been a lot of people speaking to them from Cricket Australia,” Hohns said. “I’m quite comfortable and quite confident that they know what is expected and they know the environment they are stepping into, which is quite different to when they left.
“There are enough hard-nosed people around the Australian cricket team to make sure it [keeping the team culture intact] does happen.”
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