Australia's David Warner and Steve Smith leave the pitch after winning the first Test against South Africa during the ball-tampering tainted series earlier this year. Photo: REUTERS/Rogan Ward

SYDNEY - Banned Australian batsmen Steve Smith and David Warner are expected to return to Sydney first-grade cricket for their respective clubs' opening fixtures on September 22.

Smith plays for Sutherland, who host Mosman in their first Premier Cricket fixture, while Warner represents Randwick-Petersham, who will face St. George, according to a report on Cricket Australia's website.

An enticing showdown between former Australia captain Smith and vice-captain Warner could take place on November 10, when Sutherland and Randwick-Petersham face off in a one-day match at an undecided venue. That match will take place during Australia's ODI series against South Africa, a day before the clash at the Adelaide Oval and a day after the fixture Hobart’s Blundstone Arena.

The duo, along with opener Cameron Bancroft, were handed lengthy bans by Cricket Australia (CA) following a ball-tampering scandal during the South Africa test series in March. Following the ban, the trio have played in various domestic competitions, with Smith scoring 41 on his debut for the Barbados Tridents in the Twenty20 Caribbean Premier League (CPL) competition last Sunday.

The 29-year-old also regained the world number one test batting ranking earlier this week despite being out of action for Australia since March. Warner is also playing in the CPL for the St Lucia Stars, while Bancroft participated in the domestic Darwin's Strike League last month.


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