Mumbai: Former Australia captain Steve Smith and vice-captain David Warner have been retained by their respective Indian Premier League (IPL) franchises after the duo missed the previous edition following the ball-tampering scandal in South Africa.
The pair are serving year-long bans for their part in the Cape Town incident in March and were barred from the 2018 IPL tournament.
The 12th edition of the lucrative Twenty20 league will be played from March 29 to May 19, having been brought forward because of the 50-over World Cup in England, which begins on May 30.
The batsmen’s bans will end on the same day the tournament starts and they could end up playing in the IPL before their compatriots after Cricket Australia (CA) imposed a series of conditions for the participation of contracted players.
Australian cricketers need to receive permission from their home board and must be available to play at the World Cup and on the Ashes tour of England that follows in August and September.
CA said players involved in the Sheffield Shield final will only be released once that concluded on April 1, while the 15 players selected to defend the World Cup must attend a mandatory training camp in early May and play warm-up matches.
Smith has also been banned from taking on a leadership position for an additional 12 months and Warner, who led the Sunrisers Hyderabad to a maiden IPL title in 2016, will not be allowed to serve in an Australian leadership position again.
The Rajasthan Royals and Sunrisers paid $1.67 million each at last year’s IPL auction for the services of Smith and Warner.