Steve Smith could be in doubt for Australia’s World Cup defence.
Steve Smith could be in doubt for Australia’s World Cup defence.

Steve Smith could skip World Cup

Steve Smith may reportedly miss the World Cup as Cricket Australia considers a staggered return to cricket for the former captain.

Cricinfo's Dan Brettig reports Smith's elbow injury, which required surgery, has proved problematic and has prompted cricket chiefs to consider a more "conservative return to the game" designed with the an Ashes defence in mind.

Selectors had targeted the back end of an ODI series against Pakistan in the UAE in early April for the return of Smith and fellow suspended star David Warner.

But a pair elbow injuries have complicated reintegration plans.

It means Warner could gain match practice in the Indian Premier League before joining the Australian side for its World Cup tilt.

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

According to Brettig, Smith could turn his attention to the Ashes and would play longer form cricket in preparation, with an Australia A tour running at the same time as the World Cup or a stint in County cricket.

Australian coach Justin Langer said they were carefully tracking the recovery of Smith and Warner.

"We've got to keep working on how they are with their elbows, first. They're going to need to get some cricket before coming back into the squad. It's all part of the management. We'll have to wait and see," he said.

Langer, however, said it would only be a lack of match practice that would prevent Smith and Warner's return.

"We're talking about two great players, we're not talking about two really good players. Two great players who on paper we'd be crazy not to have them in the team. It's about how much cricket they get to play between now and then. They'll find opportunities. We'll find opportunities, but I can't say anything else."

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