Steve Smith, David Warner return in the planning phase: Cricket Australia CEO

Cricket Australia’s CEO Kevin Roberts revealed that discussions regarding Steve Smith and David Warner’s return to the national team have begun. Australia are scheduled to play an ODI series against Pakistan which will be held from March until April. Incidentally, Smith and Warner’s year-long bans are set to expire at the same time. However, Smith and Warner were both preparing to make a comeback via the Indian Premier League which begins on March 29, but that plan could change.

“We’ve had some good early discussions. We’re also conscious that we’ve got a bit over three months to prepare,” quoted Roberts as saying.

“We’re in the planning phase. If the draft dates of the Pakistan series remain as they are then it’s possible the players will be eligible for selection for the final two matches,” he said.

“That [whether Smith and Warner return mid-series] is something we need to consider over these coming weeks,” he added.

Meanwhile, the five-match series is likely to be held in the United Arab Emirates. But Pakistan have reiterated their desire of staging at least some matches in their homeland.

“We share Pakistan’s desire to see more international cricket returning to Pakistan but we’ve made it really clear that our first priority in that regard is the safety of our players,” Roberts said, adding, “We’ll never compromise the safety of our players. We’ve also made it clear that we’ll be taking advice from the experts.”

“At this stage the advice hasn’t changed but we’ll continue working through that over the next couple of months,” he concluded.