MELBOURNE - Australia paceman Pat Cummins is eager for banned duo Steve Smith and David Warner to rejoin the national side, saying it feels like they have already spent "five years in cricketing isolation".
Smith and Warner were handed 12-month bans by Cricket Australia (CA) while batsman Cameron Bancroft received a nine-month suspension following a ball-tampering scandal in South Africa in March. Reports of Smith and Warner being allowed to participate in domestic first-class cricket ahead of next year's World Cup were dismissed by CA earlier this week but Cummins is eager for his compatriots to return to action.
"I'd love to see it. I'm not sure how realistic it is, but as a player I'd love to have them (Smith and Warner) in any team I'm in... and as a fan I'd love to see it," Cummins told the Australian Associated Press. "It's only been a couple of months since South Africa, but it feels like it's been about five years they haven't played."
The ban does not prevent the trio from playing domestic cricket overseas and Warner and Smith are currently playing in the inaugural Global T20 Canada league. "It's so great to see them back playing in Canada," Cummins said. "They want to be involved in cricket and do what's best for cricket."
The 25-year-old, who is nursing a back injury, is hopeful of being called-up for the test series against Pakistan in October along with Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc, who are also on the mend from their own injuries. "As long as there are no hiccups in the building-up stage... we should all be right for the UAE. We've all started running," Cummins added.