TORONTO: Suspended Australian cricket stars Steve Smith and David Warner have been drafted into teams for the inaugural Global T20 Canada Cricket League.
Smith and Warner have been banned from playing for Australia or for their provincial teams in the national competition for 12 months by Cricket Australia following a ball-tampering scandal during a test match in South Africa in March. But the ban doesn’t apply to lower-tier club competitions or foreign leagues, making the former Australia captain and vice-captain eligible for the Toronto-based Twenty20 tournament that starts June 28.
Smith was the No. 2 pick for the Toronto Nationals in the June 3 draft and Warner was the No. 3 pick for the Winnipeg Hawks.
Smith was among the 10 marquee players in the draft, along with high-profile Twenty20 players including West Indies stars Chris Gayle, Daren Sammy, Dwayne Bravo and Andre Russell.
The six-team league will start on June 28 and conclude with a final on July 15.
Smith and Warner accepted the one-year bans from representative cricket following a Cricket Australia investigation into an attempt by their teammate Cameron Bancroft to change the condition of the match ball during a match against South Africa in Cape Town in March.
Bancroft was suspended for nine months. The suspensions were significantly harsher than any sanction ever imposed by the International Cricket Council for similar offenses.—AP