Smith on track to feature in 2019 World Cup

Steve Smith set to represent Australia in 2019 World Cup cricket

Steve Smith’s manager Warren Craig: “The intent is that he will play in the IPL and then the World Cup and then the Ashes”

Image courtesy of: Zimbio

Former Australia captain Steve Smith is on track to recover in time for the World Cup later this year, his manager Warren Craig said.

Smith was banned for a year over the ball tampering scandal that shocked the cricketing world in March last year.

While Smith will only be allowed to make his international return on March 29, he has been featuring in domestic competitions.

It was during the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL), where he represented the Comilla Victorians in two games, that he suffered an elbow injury that required him to undergo surgery.

Smith went under the knife last month and will have his right arm in a brace for six weeks.

Craig confirmed that the surgical procedure had “gone very well”, and that Smith’s intentions are to play in the Indian Premier League (IPL), World Cup and Ashes series.

Craig’s comments dismissed rumours that Smith would miss the World Cup and return through Australia A’s tour of England, which runs concurrently with the quadrennial tournament.

“Until the brace comes off we don’t know for sure but all current opinion is that he’ll then have about three and a half weeks (before being ready to play),” Craig told cricket.com.au.

“The intent is that he will play in the IPL and then the World Cup and then the Ashes.”

With the IPL beginning on March 29, a Cricket Australia spokesperson said: “Return-to-play timeframes will be clearer once the brace has been removed near the end of February. We are working with Steve to ensure he is ready to return to play as soon as practical.”

Meanwhile, Australia head coach Justin Langer admitted it would be “crazy” to overlook Smith and David Warner for the World Cup.

Like Smith, Warner was also banned for 12 months for his role in the ball tampering scandal.

He also suffered an elbow injury while playing for the Sylhet Sixers in the BPL and underwent minor surgery.

“We’re talking about two great players. We’re not talking about two really good players, they’re two great players who, on paper, we’d be crazy not to have them in the team (for the World Cup),” Langer had said after Australia’s 2-0 Test series win over Sri Lanka in Canberra.

“(It’s about) how much cricket they get to play between now and then, but I’m sure we’ll find opportunities. They’ll find opportunities … but I can’t see anything else (stopping them).

“We’ve got to keep working on how they are with their elbows first,” Langer said after both players went under the knife last month.

“They’re going to need to get some cricket leading into hopefully coming back into the squad. It’s all part of the management. We’ll have to wait and see what happens there.”

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