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Smith, Warner can spark Australia to World Cup glory: Warne
World Cup 2019

Smith, Warner can spark Australia to World Cup glory: Warne

Steve Smith and David Warner's return can spark Australia to World Cup glory, Test great Shane Warne said on Wednesday.

The duo’s ban from state and international cricket for their roles in ball-tampering expires later this month and they are expected to be rushed back into the Australian side for the defence of their title at the major tournament in England this year.

Both players have recently undergone elbow surgery and it remains to be seen how they will perform back on the world stage, particularly in what is sure to be a hostile atmosphere in England.

But Warne has no doubt they will be as good as ever and the break will benefit them rather than their skills being blunted.

Warne was himself suspended in 2003 for a year after testing positive to banned diuretic drugs.

"Sometimes having an enforced lay off – like I'm used to, I had 12 months off myself – what that means is you become really fresh," he told Fox Sports.

"You freshen your mind up, you become hungry again and realise how important cricket is to you."

Warne said both players would also "have a point to prove" when they eventually pad up again.

"That's why I reckon Australia can win the World Cup," he said, despite the team's recent patchy one-day form.

"They'll walk straight back in, they'll be hungry. They'll be a bit nervous in the first few games but that'll be good for them, they'll be excited and I would expect them to play as good as they always have."

Both players are expected to feature at the lucrative Indian Premier League as they tune-up for the World Cup.

Smith returned to the nets last week from surgery in January after being forced to leave the Bangladesh Premier League with a ligament problem.

Warner's injury, sustained at the same event, was less serious and he could play his first game since then for his club side Randwick-Petersham this weekend.