Steve Smith, David Warner likely to miss final stages of IPL 2019

Steve Smith and David Warner

Smith and Warner are now playing for Rajasthan Royals and Sunrisers Hyderabad respectively in the IPL after serving their 12-month ban for their role in the ball-tampering scandal that rocked Australian cricket past year. And the day became even more memorable for Smith and Warner as Cricket Australia included them in their list of contracted players for 2019-20 season.

Alex Carey has been named the sole wicketkeeper in the squad.

The two were eligible to play in Australia's last ODI against Pakistan but the selectors instead asked them to play in the Indian Premier League. The defending champions took the tough decision to drop Peter Handscomb and fast bowler Josh Hazlewood from the 15-man squad announced on Monday.David Warner now leads the run scoring charts in the IPL, holding the orange cap with 400 runs, while Smith has 186 runs to his name in 6 innings.Dropping two in-form players underlines both the reversal of Australia's recent one-day form and the depth of talent the panel had to choose from.

Cricket Australia (CA), in its statement, mentioned that the 15-man squad will have to assemble in Brisbane for a training camp.

Monday was a day to remember for Steve Smith and David Warner.

Usman Khawaja and Shaun Marsh have been included in the squad, which is a reward for their good form in the recent games.

Hazlewood recently recovered from a back injury that kept him out of action since January and had admitted to being nervous about Australia's selection for the World Cup.

"Given the depth of talent and competition for spots there were a number of tough calls we had to make to settle on our squad of 15", said Hohns.

Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Jhye Richardson, Nathan Coulter-Nile and Jason Behrendorff are the five pacers in the line-up, while Nathan Lyon and Adam Zampa will take care of the spin department.

"We believe the 2019/20 contract list provides us with a versatile group of players who can represent Australia across all three formats over the contract period", national selector Trevor Hohns said.

Hazlewood was the biggest name to miss out with Warner and Smith back into the Australia squad.

Aaron Finch (capt), Usman Khawaja, David Warner, Steve Smith, Shaun Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Alex Carey, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Jhye Richardson, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Jason Behrendorff, Nathan Lyon, Adam Zampa.

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