Australia’s disgraced duo, Cameron Bancroft and David Warner are all set to return to competitive cricket during the Darwin Strike League in July.
The duo along with Steven Smith had not played since the ball tampering scandal in the third Test against South Africa in Cape Town in March.
In the aftermath of the scandal, Cricket Australia (CA) had slapped lengthy bans on the disgraced trio. While Smith and Warner got banned for a year each, Bancroft was handed a nine-month ban.
Smith also had to give up his captaincy in addition to being banned from playing for State and in Big Bash League. However, CA had made it clear the forbidden trio would be allowed to play grade cricket.
And the duo is now all set to make their much-awaited return to the cricket field. Bancroft will be available for the entire competition, while Warner will play in two 50-over matches on July 21 and 22. The competition features both 50-over and T20 games.
Warner will also play in Sydney grade cricket. The southpaw will play at least three of Randwick Petersham’s opening four matches next summer. On the other hand, Bancroft will line-up for Willetton in Perth.
“I’m really looking forward to playing in the Strike League in July. I heard so much about the competition while I was in Darwin earlier this month. I’m keen to be part of it,” Warner said in a statement on Tuesday (May 29).
Joel Morrison, NT Cricket Chief Executive, welcomed Warner and Bancroft.
“Their presence and experience will be invaluable for our local players. It’s a big endorsement for the fantastic work being done by the staff at NT Cricket to make Darwin the winter destination of choice for Australian cricket,” he said. “The Strike League is a fantastic competition with a mix of local, interstate and overseas players participating, and is a great showcase of the excellent facilities and talent we have in the North.”
Meanwhile, Smith is also close to returning to competitive cricket. The right-hander has been named as one of the marquee players in the proposed Global T20 Canada league.