Shane Warne backing Australia's David Warner to be the best player in 2019 ICC World Cup

Sport360 staff 17:53 10/03/2019
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Australia's David Warner (l) and Steve Smith (r).

Former leg-spinner Shane Warne is predicting Australia opener David Warner to bag the player-of-the-tournament accolade in the upcoming 2019 ICC World Cup in England.

Both Warner and Steve Smith remain suspended from international cricket currently for their roles in the infamous ball-tampering saga with their 12-month bans due to come to an end on March 29.

The duo has not been picked in the Australia squad for the ODI series against Pakistan in the UAE which begins towards the end of March but are expected to prepare for the World Cup with their respective stints in the Indian Premier League (IPL).

Warne, who himself was suspended for 12 months in 2003, is backing Warner and Smith to come back hungrier than ever to international cricket.

“All I can go on is experience having a year off myself. The next four years were the best I ever had,” the Australia icon told The Telegraph.

Warne is backing Warner to light up the 2019 World Cup.

Warne is backing Warner to light up the 2019 World Cup.

“I was hungry for the game. My body and mind were fresh and it is amazing how excited you are to play again.

“The little things that used to make you say ‘here we go again’ don’t matter anymore.”

Warner averages more than 43 with the bat in ODIs for Australia with the left-hander registering 14 tons so far. Smith, meanwhile, has struck eight tons and 19 half-centuries with a batting average just above 41.

Warne believes the two batsmen will take a few bowling attacks to the cleaners in England during the World Cup.

“You get excited just going to the nets again because you have taken it for granted in the past so I think they (Warner and Smith) will come back better than they were,” said Warne.

“They are going to come out and destroy attacks and I back David Warner to be the player of the World Cup.”

Warner is due to turn out for Sunrisers Hyderabad and Smith for Rajasthan Royals when the 2019 IPL gets underway on March 23.

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