Tim Paine wants Steve Smith and David Warner to makes Ashes return

Tim Paine wants Steve Smith and David Warner to makes Ashes return

It is expected he will play a crucial role in reintegrating David Warner into the side once his 12-month ban for his involvement in a ball-tampering scandal ends on March 29.

Speculation was also rife on whether the cricketer will be able to play the World Cup due to start in May end.

"There's probably anywhere between 16 and 25 players we think are now in the mix, which is a really good place to be".

"Until the brace comes off we don't know for sure but all current opinion is that he'll then have about three and a half weeks (before being available for selection)", Craig told cricket.com.au.

Smith's manager, Warren Craig of Turning Point Management, revealed that the star batsman's recovery from elbow surgery had gone well despite him remaining in a brace. "We've got to keep working on how they are with their elbows first", Langer said after both players went under the knife last month.

The two players took part in franchise cricket in this time and though Warner also endured an elbow injury, his return still seems imminent. "I think those two have got plenty of runs in the bank if you like", Paine said when asked if they could slot straight back in.

Cricket Australia will privately begin a mediation process with Warner and Smith and other squad and staff members shortly.

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"The intent is that he will play in the IPL and then the World Cup and then the Ashes".

Tim Paine has dropped the biggest hint yet that Australia will welcome back disgraced duo Steve Smith and David Warner for the Ashes this summer.

Ponting was part of Australia's World Cup-winning team in England in 1999 and then as captain led them to victories in South Africa in 2003 and the West Indies in 2007.

Instead of taking Smith to the World Cup the CA is pondering over the idea to make him play for Australia A or one of the English county sides at the time of the ICC event.

"We know it's been a tough time for them, it's been a tough time for Australian cricket, but we know the word integration has been going for the last nine or ten months, or eleven ... it's getting closer (now) isn't it". That's how I see how important they are to this team.

Coach Justin Langer said it would only be a lack of match practice that would prevent Smith and Warner's return to the worldwide fold.

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