James Maasdrop for ABC, 15 April 2019
Smith and Warner return to the international fold following 12-month bans for their involvement in the ball-tampering scandal that erupted in South Africa last year. However, there was no room for Peter Handscomb, Ashton Turner or Kane Richardson, who all toured India and the United Arab Emirates last month.Mitchell Starc and Jhye Richardson are named in the squad subject to fitness, while Josh Hazelwood misses out completely.
The 15-man squad announcement comes as Australia looks to defend its World Cup title that it won on home soil four years ago — its fifth title.The squad heads to England for the tournament beginning May 30, with an Ashes tour following immediately after.
Trevor Hohns, the chairman of the selectors, said the return of “world-class players” David Warner and Steve Smith would help Australia win the World Cup. “[Smith and Warner] are world-class players and it has been pleasing to see them produce some good form in the IPL,” Hohns said. Warner currently leads the run-scoring charts in the IPL with 400 from his seven matches as an opener, including one century and four 50s. Smith has been less prolific, but has still managed 186 runs at an average of 37.20 and a high score of 73 not out.
The Australian ODI side is currently on an eight-game winning streak, coming from 2-0 down to defeat India 3-2 in the recent five-match series, before sweeping Pakistan 5-0 in the United Arab Emirates.
“We have been extremely pleased with how the ODI squad has been building over the past six months,” Hohns said. “I know this squad is focused on playing a brand of cricket which can help us in our ambition to win another World Cup title.”
Australia will meet in Brisbane on May 2 for a training camp, ahead of three practice matches against a New Zealand XI at Allan Border Field.
Australia plays its first World Cup match against Afghanistan in Bristol on June 1.