Sunday Mail - - SPORT -

THE re­turn of Steve Smith and David Warner, pic­tured, is some­thing ev­ery­one should look for­ward to. Both should be wel­comed back with open arms.

I’m sure it’s go­ing to be awk­ward at times, but Aus­tralian cricket des­per­ately needs their class and ex­pe­ri­ence in the team.

I spent a year out of the game and I know how hun­gry they will be when they get their chance to play again.

They will also be very de­ter­mined to prove them­selves.

This has to be good for the team and Aus­tralian cricket.

While their come­backs won’t solve all of our prob­lems, it is a mas­sive op­por­tu­nity for Aus­tralia with a World Cup and an Ashes se­ries on the hori­zon.

Noth­ing de­fines you more as an Aus­tralian crick­eter than per­form­ing on the two big­gest stages of world cricket. Both tro­phies are right there for the play­ers’ tak­ing. That would mean the Sh­effield Shield starts at the end of the Big Bash, and gets played right through sum­mer, right through the Test se­ries. Shield games should be played from Tuesday to Fri­day, with a one-day game on Sun­day after a day’s rest on Satur­day. I un­der­stand that CA wants to play the Big Bash on school hol­i­days, but the games start at 7pm. It doesn’t mat­ter if peo­ple are on hol­i­days or not. How would it be if as soon as the foot­ball codes fin­ish, as soon as the fi­nals are over, we could jump straight in to the Big Bash? What a way to start the sum­mer. More im­por­tance has to be placed on mak­ing Aus­tralia the best Test team in the world again, and to do that the sched­ule has to change.

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