David Warner (L) and Cameron Bancroft currently remain suspended from international duty following their involvement in the ball-tampering incident in South Africa.(Getty Images)
David Warner (L) and Cameron Bancroft currently remain suspended from international duty following their involvement in the ball-tampering incident in South Africa.(Getty Images)

David Warner, Cameron Bancroft may return to cricket as early as July

The two banned Australian cricketers, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft, are expected to play in a club competition in Australia’s Northern Territory.
By HT Correspondent | Hindustan Times
UPDATED ON MAY 07, 2018 06:39 PM IST

Australia’s banned Test opening pair of former vice-captain David Warner and the young Cameron Bancroft could make a comeback to competitive cricket as early as July.

The ball-tampering scandal during Australia’s tour of South Africa earlier this year saw Warner and Bancroft being banned from top-flight cricket for 12 and nine months respectively, with the former being dropped from consideration of leadership position forever.

Alongside these two, Australia’s captain Steve Smith was handeda one-year ban, as well as suspension from leadership position for two years.

Smith had announced his arrival back in Australia and the beginning of his efforts to win back the trust and support of his fans last week.

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But it is the pair of Warner and Bancroft, who, separately, are considering playing in the Top End’s Strike League in Australia’s Northern Territory.

It must be remembered that the bans imposed on the troika by Cricket Australia (CA) restrict them from playing international cricket as well as Australian domestic cricket, but not club competition.

According to cricket.com.au, the right-handed Bancroft is being considered to be included in the second edition of the Strike League in July, and he may also play in Darwin’s main club competition.

The report added that Northern Territory officials are also in talks with Warner, with Bancroft being the likelier option to feature in the league. The officials want Warner to play in Northern Territory’s version of the Big Bash League.

The chief executive officer of Northern Territory Cricket, Joel Morrison, said, “Once the sanctions were handed down by Cricket Australia and the dust had settled, I reached out to Cricket Australia and then the players’ managers to give them the opportunity to play some cricket over the winter.”

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Warner interested; D’Arcy Short, Jordan Silk likely too

The report said while Warner is interested, the organisers are also hopeful to rope in D’Arcy Short and Jordan Silk in the tournament which would have four teams.

“One of the great advantages we have up here is that we have a winter competition which provides playing opportunities year-round. We offered them the opportunity to help them get back and play … if they wanted to pick up the bat sooner rather than later. The opportunity to have the likes of David Warner or Cameron Bancroft, if they’re available and willing to play, would be fantastic for us.

“He (Warner) does seem interested. Now we’ve just got to see if the timings align depending on what else he’s up to. But he has shown some interest and we’ll definitely pick up those conversations,” Morrison added.

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