Justin Langer wants Steve Smith, David Warner for World Cup

David Warner must return to the Test XI with Steve Smith says Tim Paine. Pic GettyMore

Former Test captain Smith and Warner are still serving one-year state and worldwide bans for their respective roles in a ball-tampering scandal against South Africa last year.

While Smith's suspension ends on 29 March, he will not return to worldwide cricket immediately targeting the World Cup as Cricket Australia (CA) is planning to bring him back into global cricket with Ashes, according to a report in ESPNCricinfo.

Australia is the defending champion of the 50-over World Cup but historically the country has prioritised Test cricket over any other format and the Ashes is beyond debate the biggest event of the Australian calendar. It's about how much cricket they get to play between now and then.

Australia is expected to instead go back to their original plan of letting Warner and Smith build back into form in the Indian Premier League before thrusting them back into the national side for a camp on the eve of the World Cup. "We are working with Steve to ensure he is ready to return to play as soon as practical", the spokesperson was quoted as saying.

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Only Warner is likely to play that series with Smith needing to recover from a major surgery on his elbow.

"Whether you are on this tour or not, there is still going to be spots up for grabs", Langer told Cricket Australia's website. It's all part of the management.

Australia coach Justin Langer admitted it would be a insane idea to not pick Smith and Warner when they are cleared on their suspensions but insisted the duo should not be rushed back without proper game time behind them. "We'll have to wait and see", Langer said.

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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"We've probably still got a little bit of work to do but I think we're on the right track". "We know there are a lot of good players and there are only 15 spots for the World Cup", he signed off.

"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 isn't it.

Hopefully once their bans are up they'll be welcomed back and they'll win test matches like they did beforehand".

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