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Steve Smith is one of the nicest people you will ever meet in your life: Justin Langer

Former Australia captain Steve Smith, deputy David Warner and opener Cameron Bancroft were handed bans by Cricket Australia (CA) in March for their role in the ball tampering scandal that broke out during the third Test against South Africa in Cape Town.

cricket Updated: Sep 26, 2018 09:53 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
steve smith,cricket australia,david warner
Steve Smith is currently serving a 12-month ban.(Getty Images)

Australia head coach Justin Langer has lent his support to the three banned cricketers who are on a comeback trail following the sandpaper controversy earlier this year. Former Australia captain Steve Smith, deputy David Warner and opener Cameron Bancroft were handed bans by Cricket Australia (CA) in March for their role in the ball tampering scandal that broke out during the third Test against South Africa in Cape Town. While Smith and Warner were suspended for 12 months, Bancroft was given a nine-month ban.

Langer said the trio will be welcomed back to the Australia set-up provided the conditions are right and they are ready to contribute. “If our environment’s right and they’re playing well, there’s no reason they shouldn’t be welcomed back in to help us win the World Cup and the Ashes next summer,” Langer told podcast The Howie Games.

“If we can have an environment of great young leaders and welcome those guys back, we can be a real force and perhaps a team that’s smiling a lot more than the team was before it happened.”

Langer also lauded Smith, saying he is one of the most committed cricketers. “Steve Smith is one of the nicest people you will ever meet in your life. He’s also a complete cricket tragic. He’s a ripping young bloke. And what a player! As committed to batting and being great as anyone you’ll ever meet.”

Describing Bancroft as the ‘heartbeat’ of Western Australia, the former opener said, “Cameron is as elite a professional as anyone I’ve ever met. He was the heartbeat of Western Australia and from all accounts, (and) talking to Darren Lehmann, he was the heartbeat of the Australian team.”

About Warner, Langer said, “He’d played every single game of cricket. He’d play Test, ODI, T20, IPL, cricket all year round. He was being hailed as a great leader.”

First Published: Sep 26, 2018 09:51 IST