Club cricket returns for Warner and Bancroft

David WarnerFile image: David Warner.

Banned Australian batsmen David Warner and Cameron Bancroft will make a return to competitive cricket in July.

Warner and Bancroft – alongside Steven Smith – were banned from playing international cricket, after being found guilty of ball-tampering during a Test match against South Africa at Newlands in Cape Town earlier this year.

Warner and Bancroft had previously committed to playing for Randwick Petersham Cricket Club and Willetton Cricket Club, respectively – and will appear in July’s Northern Territory limited-overs Strike League.

“We’re delighted to have David. He’s one of the best players Australia has had since World War Two. He’s been speaking to one of our club officials and he has committed to the first three or four rounds of the season. Why it is only three or four rounds at this stage, I don’t know,” said Randwick Petersham Cricket Club Mike Whitney.

Warner added: “I’m really looking forward to playing in the Strike League in July. I heard so much about the competition while I was in Darwin earlier this month that I’m keen to be part of it.”

Northern Territory Cricket chief executive Joel Morrison concluded: “Their presence and experience will be invaluable for our local players, and it’s a big endorsement for the fantastic work being done by the staff at NT Cricket to make Darwin the winter destination of choice for Australian cricket.

“The Strike League is a fantastic competition with a mix of local, interstate and overseas players participating, and is a great showcase of the excellent facilities and talent we have in the North.”

Smith and Warner are serving one-year bans, imposed by Cricket Australia, while Bancroft’s sanction is nine months.