Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft should return in 2019: Justin Langer
David Warner and Steve Smith are currently serving 12-month bans from international cricket. @Getty

Justin Langer believes that the suspended trio of former skipper Steve Smith, former vice-captain David Warner and Test opener Cameron Bancroft could easily return to international cricket in 2019, a year in which Australia  will travel to England for the ICC Cricket World Cup and the Ashes.

Speaking to Mark Howard on his podcast The Howie Games, Australia’s coach stressed on the need to rehabilitate the three cricketers, each serving bans from international cricket for their roles in the ball-tampering controversy that erupted in South Africa in March.

“If our environment’s right and they’re playing well, there’s no reason they shouldn’t be welcomed back in to help us win the World Cup and help us win the Ashes next summer,” said the former Test opener. “If we can have an environment of great young leaders and welcome those guys back, we can be a real force and perhaps a team that’s smiling a lot more than the team was before it happened.”

Smith and Warner are currently serving 12-month bans while Bancroft is out for nine months. While Smith and Warner played T20 cricket in Canada and the Caribbean and this weekend will turn out in Sydney’s Premier Cricket, Bancroft has since March only played in he Northern Territory Strike League. Bancroft, the player who was picked up by cameras at Newlands in March attempting to tamper with the ball and then trying to hide the foreign object, will play for Durham once his ban ends December.

According to Langer, each player had a role to play for Australia.

“Steve Smith is one of the nicest people you will ever meet in your life. He’s also a complete cricket tragic,” he said. “He’s a ripping young bloke. And what a player. As committed to batting and being great as anyone you’ll ever meet.

“Cameron is as elite a professional as anyone I’ve ever met. He was the heartbeat of Western Australia and from all accounts, talking to Darren Lehmann, he was the heartbeat of the Australian team. He is that tough, he would literally cut his legs off to play cricket for Australia. He is that sort of character that you love to have around the place.

“Davey’s the marathon man of Australian cricket, people don’t remember that. He’d played every single game of cricket. He’d play Test, One Day, T20, IPL, cricket all year round. He was being hailed as a great leader in that finally Australia was playing good T20.”