Top cricketing nations are preparing for the 2019 World Cup which is scheduled to be held in England and Wales from May 30. Australia are the defending champions and will look to retain the title. In World Cup history, Australia have won the coveted title a record 5 times. Former Indian pacer Zaheer Khan recently came up with his squad for the Australians. In a shocking move, he has omitted Aussie star batsmen Steve Smith and David Warner from the World Cup squad.
Zaheer’s Australia squad for World Cup includes names like Aaron Finch (C), Alex Carey, Usman Khawaja, Shaun Marsh, Peter Handscomb, Marcus Stoinis, Glenn Maxwell, Jhye Richardson, Pat Cummins, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Adam Zampa, Nathan Lyon/Ashton Turner, Mitchell Starc, D’Arcy Short.
Talking about omitting Smith and Warner, Zaheer told Cricbuzz, “I think the confusion has been going on for too long. And Smith being injured as well and hence the selectors might go in this direction. And for a tournament like World Cup, you don’t want players coming off injuries or having a patchy form. In the case of Smith and Warner, it is not going to be an easy comeback I feel.”
Meanwhile, Smith and Warner will return to international cricket after serving the 1-year ban for ball-tampering. Their ban ends in March when the side will be playing ODIs against Pakistan in UAE. They are expected to play the 4th and final ODI against the side. Recently, 3-time World Cup winning Aussie captain Ricky Ponting expressed confidence in his side winning the title again.