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"It was great to see them"; Marsh rejoices return of Smith and Warner

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20th March, 2019
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Shaun Marsh, Adam Zampa and Kane Richardson say there were a lot of positives to come from a recent meeting with Steve Smith and David Warner.

Steve Smith and David Warner were men of few words when they broke bread with Australia’s ODI squad in Dubai.

Smith and Warner recently had a short stopover in the UAE en route to their respective Indian Premier League franchises, spending the better part of 24 hours with the men they will call teammates at the World Cup.

The visit represented the first time the disgraced duo were welcomed back into the team environment since the Cape Town cheating scandal.

Cricket Australia is yet to release details of the reintegration process, which is being overseen by Harvard-educated leadership consultant Tim Ford.

There has been speculation that Smith and Warner fronted teammates as part of an honesty session and that squad members and support staff were invited to ask whatever questions they pleased.

“They didn’t say too much. It was just a conversation amongst each other,” veteran Shaun Marsh said.

“It was a really positive meeting … just talked through all different kinds of stuff.”

Marsh was in the field at Newlands when the ball-tampering furore erupted.

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The 35-year-old, at risk of failing to make Australia’s World Cup squad because of Smith and Warner’s return, insisted it was “really great to have them back around the group”.

“They’re two of our best ever players,” Marsh said.

“It was great to see them the other day.”

Adam Zampa echoed Marsh’s sentiments, while Kane Richardson suggested every member of the squad was glad to see Smith and Warner.

“They’ve had a really tough 12 months. They’ve done their time … so it will be nice to see them back playing cricket in the IPL,” Richardson said.

Coach Justin Langer previously noted Australia’s plans for the World Cup, both on the field and off it, were at the crux of Saturday’s meetings involving Smith and Warner.

Smith and Warner’s visit also gave team medicos an ideal chance to assess their progress from elbow surgery that was performed in January.

Smith hopes he will be able to throw freely in time for the World Cup and recently reiterated he is on track to take part in Rajasthan Royals’ IPL season opener, against Kings XI Punjab on Tuesday.

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Smith was blacklisted from last year’s IPL following the sandpaper scandal, costing him $2.4 million, but he has been welcomed back with open arms by Rajasthan skipper Ajinkya Rahane.

“It’s good to have him back as a Rajasthan Royals player,” India vice-captain Rahane said.

“He is a quality player and it’s always good to have him in your team.

“Also to pick his mind will be very important. We all know his ability to win matches.”

© AAP