Steve Smith, David Warner notch up big scores on return to Australian cricket after ball-tampering incident

Steve Smith and David Warner made an emphatic return to Australian cricket, with Smith scoring 85 in 92 balls and Warner scoring a century in 98 balls.

Agence France-Presse, Sep 22, 2018 16:14:37 IST

Sydney: Disgraced cricketers Steve Smith and David Warner made stunning returns to Australian cricket on Saturday, with the pair both notching up big scores in front of some of the largest grade-level crowds the country has seen.

Steve Smith, David Warner notch up big scores on return to Australian cricket after ball-tampering incident

Steve Smith in action for Sutherland against Mosman. AFP

Former captain Smith looked as though he had not a missed beat, with a classy 85 of 92 deliveries for Sutherland against Mosman in New South Wales grade cricket. He was greeted with loud applause from hundreds of fans when he walked out to the pitch at Sydney's Glenn McGrath Oval, supporters delighted to see a return of his trademark fidgeting at crease.

"It's awesome to see him playing," Sutherland teammate Shane Watson told Cricket Australia's official website. "I'd prefer him to be playing for Australia, but the support that he got, the warm applause when he scored runs and also when he got out shows that everyone is supporting him," Watson added.

Some 30 kilometres up north at Coogee Oval, former Australian vice-captain Warner smashed a century from 98 balls in his Australia return for club side Randwick-Petersham against St George. The impressive innings included a huge six hit out of the ground, to the delight of hundreds of onlookers crammed into the small ground.

"It's great to have him back," cricket fan Kim Perry told AFP, adding, "he's a great entertainer for Australian cricket."

Both players took time out in between innings to pose for photos and chat with fans, on a charm offensive as they seek redemption for their part in the ball-tampering scandal against South Africa in March. The pair are serving one-year suspensions from international and state cricket for the scandal, while opener Cameron Bancroft was banned for nine months.

"I think they will probably welcome them (Smith and Warner) back after they've done their time. Not before," said 82-year-old cricket fan Don Sounders.

Smith and Warner are expected to spend more time at their respective grade-level clubs in New South Wales this summer if they decide not to join the new Twenty20 competition in the UAE.

Updated Date: Sep 22, 2018 16:14:37 IST






Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 4027 115
2 New Zealand 2829 109
3 South Africa 2917 108
4 England 4366 104
5 Australia 3270 99
6 Sri Lanka 3795 95
Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 6745 125
2 India 7071 122
3 New Zealand 4837 112
4 Australia 5543 111
5 South Africa 5193 110
6 Pakistan 5019 98
Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 7748 277
2 England 4253 266
3 South Africa 4720 262
4 India 8620 261
5 Australia 5471 261
6 New Zealand 4784 252