Australia’s Test skipper Tim Paine on Wednesday urged Australian cricket fans to give another chance to the disgraced former Aussie captain Steve Smith and his deputy David Warner.
When Tim Paine was asked if the trio of Smith, Warner, and Cameron Bancroft be welcomed back with open arms, Paine replied, “I think so.” Paine further said he hoped “they’re welcomed back” into the national team.
The duo of Smith and Warner will finish their one-year long ban in the wake of ball tampering scandal in March and is widely expected to be rushed back into the team that has struggled in their absence.
However, the reaction of the Australian public is yet to be seen as they were widely slammed for tarnishing the country’s image.
Earlier in March last year, during Australia’s tour to South Africa, Cameron Bancroft tried to alter the ball with sandpaper in the Cape Town Test. Later, Australia’s former vice-captain Warner turned out to be the instigator and the then captain Smith admitting he turned a blind eye to the incident.
“I hope they’re welcomed back. I mean everyone is entitled to their own opinion and will have a different view on it,” Tim Paine said, before adding, “But I think that once they’ve done their time I’m very hopeful that the Australian public will welcome those three guys back and give them a fair chance.”
Speaking to media ahead of the fourth Test against India, Paine said, “I mean, just to be treated like all other cricketers are.”
Rookie cricketer Bancroft is eligible to return to the national team as his ban ran-out last weekend. Bancroft has been included in the Perth Scorchers squad in the ongoing season of the Big Bash League.
Smith and Warner could return to the national team in March in the limited overs game when the Oz team will face Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates.
Speaking about the bearing of Smith and Warner’s absence on the Australian team Paine said, “I think it’s pretty clear that if you take two or three of the best players out of anyone’s line-up around the world, you’re going to struggle a little bit at times and you are going to have inconsistent performances.”
“The silver lining is that we do have world-class players that are available soon to come back into this side, and clearly when they do they will make a huge difference.”