January 17, 2019
Steve Smith and David Warner’s preparations for their long-awaited World Cup returns could both be thrown into chaos, with the latter set to follow his ex-skipper home from Bangladesh with an elbow injury.
Just six days after Smith left the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) to have surgery on his elbow, Cricket Australia (CA) confirmed Warner would also head home to seek medical assessment on the same joint.
But while Smith faces a prolonged period on the sideline, Warner’s outlook appears somewhat better – with the opener free to play two more games in Bangladesh before heading home on Monday.
“David has reported some pain in his right elbow,” a CA spokesman said. “He will return to Australia on Monday January 21 to be assessed, but is expected to play in remaining BPL matches until his return.
“We will have a clearer understanding of the extent of his injury once he has been assessed.”
Warner and Smith’s 12-month bans stemming from the ball-tampering scandal end on March 29, and it had previously been suggested the pair could play at least some of a yet-to-be scheduled one-day series against Pakistan in the UAE.
Smith’s hopes of that are almost certainly shot though, the prominent run-scorer facing six weeks in a brace following Tuesday’s surgery for a ligament injury.
He is however expected to return well in time for Australia’s first match at the World Cup in England on 1 June.
Meanwhile Warner’s injury was seemingly suffered as he hit an unbeaten 61 from 36 balls for the Sylhet Sixers against the Rangpur Riders on Wednesday night, with his knock including a six and two fours while batting right-handed against Chris Gayle.
While there had been public conjecture over the future selection of Smith and Warner, the poor form of both the red and white-ball national sides headed into a World Cup and Ashes winter appear to now make that a mere formality.