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, September 22, 2018

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 in action for Sutherland against Mosman. AFP

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





Top Stories

Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 4397 116
2 South Africa 3712 106
3 Australia 3499 106
4 England 4722 105
5 New Zealand 2354 102
6 Sri Lanka 3668 97
Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 6607 127
2 India 6492 122
3 New Zealand 4602 112
4 South Africa 4635 110
5 Pakistan 4145 101
6 Australia 3699 100
Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 3972 132
2 India 4601 124
3 Australia 2570 122
4 England 2448 117
5 New Zealand 2542 116
6 South Africa 2213 111