Australian cricket great Shane Warne feels former Aussie skipper Steve Smith and David Warner’s year-long exile has likely left them hungrier than ever and their return can spark Oz team to their sixth World Cup title.
Both Smith and Warner were banned for one year from state and international cricket by Cricket Australia (CA) for their involvement in the ball-tampering scandal in Cape Town last year. The star duo is expected to join the Australia squad for their upcoming ODI series against Pakistan as their ban expires at the end of this month.
Both Smith and Warner recently underwent elbow surgeries and cricket fans are eager to watch their performance on the world stage, particularly in England, later this year.
Warne, however, is confident that Smith and Warner would benefit from the break rather than their skills being blunted. Warne is talking from experience as he was also suspended in 2003 for a year after testing positive to banned diuretic drugs.
After his suspension, many cricket pundits wrote him off, but the legendary cricketer bounced back and enjoyed several more years playing at the highest level with the Australian team.
“Sometimes having an enforced lay off — like I’m used to, I had 12 months off myself — what that means is you become really fresh,” Warne told Fox Sports. “You freshen your mind up, you become hungry again and realise how important cricket is to you.”
Speaking about Smith and Warner’s return, Warne said both players would also “have a point to prove” when they eventually pad up again.
“That’s why I reckon Australia can win the World Cup,” he said, before adding, “They’ll walk straight back in, they’ll be hungry. They’ll be a bit nervous in the first few games but that’ll be good for them, they’ll be excited and I would expect them to play as good as they always have.”