Cameron Bancroft has been recalled to Australia's squad for the Ashes series against England.

It is the opening batsman's first selection for international duty since serving a nine-month ban for his part in last year's ball-tampering scandal.

Bancroft impressed with 93 in the tourists' warm-up outing at Southampton on Thursday – a match-winning knock that ultimately sealed his place.

He features alongside David Warner and former captain Steve Smith, with all three taking part in their first Test tour since their actions against South Africa in Cape Town placed their careers at the highest level on hiatus.

Their inclusions mean there is no place for Joe Burns or Kurtis Patterson, despite both men scoring centuries in Australia's previous Test outing against Sri Lanka in Canberra, although Matthew Wade and Mitchell Marsh are back.

A strong seam bowling department is bolstered by recalls for James Pattinson and Ashes veteran Peter Siddle.

Injury-plagued paceman Pattinson last played in the longest format in February 2016 and will in part fill the void left by Jhye Richardson being ruled out with a dislocated shoulder.

Seam bowling all-rounder Michael Neser is the only uncapped player in the party, with Nathan Lyon the lone spinner for a series where conditions are expected to favour seam.

Australia captain Tim Paine was delighted with Cameron Bancroft's performance in an inter-squad Ashes warm-up match on Thursday.

Bancroft scored an unbeaten 93 at the Rose Bowl as the Graeme Hick XII beat the Brad Haddin XII by five wickets.

The opening batsman, who along with Steve Smith and David Warner was suspended following last year's ball-tampering scandal, has not played a Test since March 2018.

Bancroft's knock will have enhanced his chances of making Australia's Ashes squad, which will be announced on Friday, with the first Test of the five-match series beginning on August 1.

And Paine believes Bancroft's form is a huge boost to Australia, who are set to include Smith and Warner in their Test squad for the first time since the incident in South Africa.

"I thought Bangers played unbelievably well - to get [nearly] 100 on that wicket, it's an unbelievable effort," Paine told reporters.

"I think it shows Bangers' toughness. Guys were getting stuck at the crease a lot and that can play on their minds.

"I think it just shows the mental toughness and application he's got to keep on taking ones in the body. The guys think he's got a bit of a screw loose but it seems to make him that bit better. He was superb in that second innings.

"Everyone's excited to have two of our loved team-mates back in, and Bangers makes it three. It also adds to our knowledge of the English conditions, he's played a lot of cricket over here now.

"[Smith and Warner] are some of the best players in the world so we're thrilled from a cricket aspect and thrilled from a team aspect to have those guys back in around our group."

Usman Khawaja missed Australia's Cricket World Cup semi-final defeat to England due to a hamstring injury, but Paine revealed the opener should be fit to feature in the first Test at Edgbaston.

"I think he's 100 per cent. He was running in between the wickets today, not at full intensity," Paine added. 

"Usman has been playing a lot of cricket, he's been over here months now with the World Cup squad so it's not like he hasn't been playing.

"It wasn't ideal that he didn't play in this game but I think he's going to be fully fit and available."

Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft have all been named in a 25-man group for the match between Australia and Australia A in Southampton.

Having been beaten by England in the Cricket World Cup semi-finals, Australia will now turn their attention to Test action, with the Ashes beginning on August 1.

The tourists will first face their 'A' team, and a squad for both sides to select from for a 12-v-12 four-day match has been confirmed.

Smith and Warner were both involved in the World Cup for the ODI side, but neither they nor Bancroft have featured for Australia's Test team since they were banned following the ball-tampering scandal last year.

Former skipper Smith and vice-captain Warner served year-long bans, while Bancroft, who has subsequently been playing county cricket with Durham, was suspended for nine months following the incident during Australia's tour of South Africa.

Marcus Stoinis and Glenn Maxwell are not included in this squad, but Alex Carey is involved and could get a first Test nod against England after an impressive World Cup.

Selector Trevor Hohns said of the group named for the warm-up match: "We have picked a group of players for a serious contest in Southampton which will assist us in finalising our squad for the Ashes series.

"Even though we know what the core of our Ashes squad will look like, the match in Southampton will be a final opportunity for some players to push their cases for inclusion in the touring party as there are still a small number of spots up for grabs.

"On that basis, we are expecting a full-on contest between players who will be hungry to succeed.
 
“In one way it is a shame that some players will have to miss out as every player in Southampton will have a strong case for inclusion in the Ashes squad.

"But the positive is that this group shows we now have a degree of depth, which stands us in good stead both now and in the middle term."

Jason Roy spearheaded a superb all-round England display in a crushing eight-wicket victory over bitter rivals Australia to set up a Cricket World Cup final with New Zealand. 

England made a sensational start to the Cricket World Cup semi-final against Australia by removing Aaron Finch, David Warner and Peter Handscomb inside seven overs.

Finch and Warner had combined for more than 1,100 runs at this tournament but made just nine between them as Jofra Archer and Chris Woakes each picked up a huge early scalp, before the latter also removed Handscomb to leave Australia reeling at 14-3.

Captain Finch won the toss and opted to bat at Edgbaston on Thursday but may have been ruing that decision when he was trapped in front by Archer from the first ball he faced.

To make matters worse, Finch opted to use the DRS and three reds on the ball-tracker meant his side lost their review after just seven deliveries.

Warner crunched two fours off Woakes but he perished for nine in the next over, edging to Jonny Bairstow at slip.

Handscomb, selected due to Usman Khawaja's hamstring injury, survived a review on umpire's call first ball but was soon cleaned up by Woakes as England tore into the top order.

The Cricket World Cup group stage is over and the build-up to the semi-finals is under way.

Group winners India will take on New Zealand at Old Trafford on Tuesday, with hosts England facing rivals Australia at Edgbaston two days later.

With the feast of cricket coming towards its conclusion, we take a look back at some of the stats from the first round with the help of Opta.

 

BATSMEN

Most runs

1. Rohit Sharma (India) 647
2. David Warner (Australia) 638
3. Shakib Al Hasan (Bangladesh) 606
4. Aaron Finch (Australia) 507
5. Joe Root (England) 500

Batting averages

1. Kane Williamson (New Zealand) 96.20
2. Rohit Sharma (India) 92.42
3. Shakib Al Hasan (Bangladesh) 86.57
4. David Warner (Australia) 79.75
5. Samiullah Shinwari (Afghanistan) 74.00

Fours

1. Rohit Sharma (India) 67
2. David Warner (Australia) 64
3. Shakib Al Hasan (Bangladesh) 60
4. Jonny Bairstow (England) 55
5. Babar Azam (Pakistan) 50

Sixes

1. Eoin Morgan (England) 22
2. Aaron Finch (Australia) 18
3. Rohit Sharma (India) 14
4. Chris Gayle (West Indies) 12
5. Jonny Bairstow (England) 11

Fastest hundreds (by deliveries)

1. Eoin Morgan (England) 57 v Afghanistan
2. Jos Buttler (England) 75 v Pakistan
3. Carlos Brathwaite (West Indies) 80 v New Zealand
4. Shakib Al Hasan (Bangladesh) 83 v West Indies
5. Rohit Sharma (India) 95 v Pakistan

BOWLERS

Most wickets

1. Mitchell Starc (Australia) 26
2. Mustafizur Rahman (Bangladesh) 20
=3. Lockie Ferguson (New Zealand) 17
=3. Jaspirt Bumrah (India) 17
=3. Mohammad Amir (Pakistan) 17
=3. Jofra Archer (England) 17

Economy rate (from seven or more innings)

1. Colin de Grandhomme (New Zealand) 4.46
2. Mujeeb Ur Rahman (Afghanistan) 4.47
3. Jasprit Bumrah (India) 4.48
4. Mohammad Nabi (Afghanistan) 4.61
5. Ben Stokes (England) 4.65

Dot balls

1. Jofra Archer (England) 300
2. Pat Cummins (Australia) 295
3. Mitchell Starc (Australia) 288
4. Trent Boult (New Zealand) 284
5. Kagiso Rabada (South Africa) 273

Sixes conceded

1. Rashid Khan (Afghanistan) 14
2. Yuzvendra Chahal (India) 13
=3. Mohammad Nabi (Afghanistan) 10
=3. Adil Rashid (England) 10
=5. Shakib Al Hasan (Bangladesh) 9
=5. Dawlat Zadran (Afghanistan) 9
=5. Glenn Maxwell (Australia) 9

Runs conceded

1. Mustafizur Rahman (Bangladesh) 483
2. Adil Rashid (England) 433
3. Mitchell Starc (Australia) 432
4. Gulbadin Naib (Afghanistan) 419
5. Mohammad Saifuddin (Bangladesh) 417

David Warner's superb 122 was in vain as Australia lost a thriller by 10 runs to South Africa, a result that means the Cricket World Cup holders will face England in the semi-finals.

India's defeat of Sri Lanka earlier on Saturday meant Australia had to win in Manchester to avoid the hosts in the last four and instead book a clash with trans-Tasman rivals New Zealand.

But in the final match of the group stage the Proteas produced one of the best team performances of the tournament so far to inflict Australia's second defeat of the competition.

Faf du Plessis made South Africa's first century of the World Cup and his 12th in ODI cricket. The former Lancashire batsman thrived with a masterful round 100 on his return to Old Trafford as South Africa posted an imposing 325 for six.

Rassie van der Dussen (95) almost followed his captain to three figures, trying to heave a six off Pat Cummins' last ball of the South Africa innings, but instead picked out Glenn Maxwell in the deep.

Warner should then have been run out by Kagiso Rabada (3-56) in the first over of Australia's reply - the opener facing South Africa for the first time since last year's ball-tampering scandal - and he seemed set to take full advantage of that lapse.

When Quinton de Kock, who made 52 and ran out Marcus Stoinis, produced a majestic catch off Chris Morris' bowling to remove Maxwell for 12, Australia were 119 for four and heading for an eighth loss in nine ODIs against South Africa, only for Warner and Alex Carey to rebuild.

But a wonderful flying Morris catch saw Warner depart as he looked to find fifth gear and, when explosive wicketkeeper-batsman Carey fell to Morris for a buccaneering 85 off 69 balls, Australia were on the brink of defeat.

Usman Khawaja (18) bravely returned to the crease after earlier retiring hurt with an apparent hamstring injury, but diverted the ball on to the top of the stumps while playing a scoop and South Africa closed out their third win of the World Cup.

STARC ON BRINK OF HISTORY

The leader of Australia's attack was not at his best in Manchester, Mitchell Starc's first ball going for four wides in a wayward opening over that cost 14 runs and gave the Proteas a flying start.

But a yorker that ripped through Dwaine Pretorius' defences gave Starc his 26th wicket of the tournament, moving him level with Australia great Glenn McGrath as the most prolific bowler in a single World Cup.

With at least one knockout match still to play, the 29-year-old is almost certain to sit top of the pile regardless of whether or not Australia successfully defend their title, while his late efforts with the bat - hitting 16 off 11 balls - almost set up an improbable victory.

 


WARNER PASSES 600 BUT ROHIT LEADS

There is no doubt Warner is having a quite brilliant World Cup - this was his third century - but despite passing 600 runs for the tournament he is second behind India opener Rohit Sharma in the batting tables.

A third century in four ODI appearances against the Proteas was fully deserved as he punished Rabada's mistake and, if Australia are to win the tournament for a sixth time, there is no doubting Warner holds the key.

He will certainly relish a clash with pre-tournament favourites England. That match will take place on Thursday at Edgbaston, where Eoin Morgan's side have a terrific record.


DUMINY & TAHIR WAVE GOODBYE

There was a winning farewell for veteran Proteas duo JP Duminy and Imran Tahir as both men played their final ODI matches for South Africa.

Tahir was able to roll out his famous celebration when he claimed the prized wicket of Australia captain Aaron Finch for three but he later missed a caught and bowled chance to remove Carey, which could have proven costly.

Duminy's contribution - scoring only 14 runs and taking no wickets from four overs - was more low-key but the Proteas will miss his all-round efforts as they look to rebuild after an underwhelming World Cup that at least ended on a high.

David Warner dominated Bangladesh with the highest score of the Cricket World Cup as Australia took another stride towards the semi-finals with a 48-run victory at Trent Bridge.

Warner has been in outstanding form and moved to another level in Nottingham, capitalising on being dropped by Sabbir Rahman on 10 by smashing 166 off 147 balls to become the leading run-scorer in the tournament.

The opening batsman's explosive 16th ODI hundred was Australia's second-highest individual World Cup score - Warner having also posted the biggest of 178 versus Afghanistan four years ago.

Usman Khawaja (89) returned to form after Aaron Finch struck 53, with Soumya Sarkar taking 3-58 as the holders put 381-5 on the board in another Nottingham run-fest.

Mushfiqur Rahim (102 not out) made a brilliant first World Cup century and there were half-centuries for Tamim Iqbal (62) and Mahmudullah (69), yet Bangladesh were unable to pull off a repeat of their huge successful run-chase against West Indies on Monday.

The Tigers did post their highest ODI score of 333-8, but they nevertheless suffered a defeat that strikes a major blow to their hopes of reaching the last four as Australia went top of the table.

 

IMPERIOUS WARNER PUNISHES SABBIR

Sabbir was brought in to make his first appearance of the tournament as one of two changes to the Tigers side and he did not get off to the best of starts, putting Warner down at backward point before he had got going.

The left-hander made him pay in brutal fashion after biding his time, slog-sweeping Shakib Al Hasan for a massive six and bringing up his half-century in 55 balls.

Warner then accelerated with a magnificent combination of power and improvisation following Finch's exit, clearing the ropes five times and putting on 192 for the second wicket with Khawaja, who passed 50 for the first time in the tournament.

 

MUSHFIQUR AND MAHMUDULLAH PROVIDE RESISTANCE

Glenn Maxwell (32 from 10) also did some late damage after Warner and Khawaja had been dismissed by Soumya, who missed out with the bat when he was run out by Finch following a big mix-up.

The fit-again Marcus Stoinis (2-54) claimed the big wicket of the in-form Shakib (41) and the Tigers were 144-3 almost halfway through their innings when Tamim chopped on.

Mitchell Starc rattled Liton Das on the helmet straight after ending Tamim's knock and the number five was on his way after being trapped in front by Adam Zampa, but Mushfiqur and Mahmudullah made a game of it.

 

STARC AND AUSTRALIA RISE TO THE SUMMIT

Nathan Coulter-Nile (2-58) ended an 83-ball stand when Mahmudullah holed out after hitting three sixes and five fours in a swashbuckling 50-ball knock, while the Australia seamer compounded Sabbir's misery by bowling him first ball.

Starc (2-55) became the top wicket-taker in the tournament and, although the excellent Mushfiqur reached three figures in the penultimate over, Australia comfortably made it five wins out of six.

Former Australia batsman Steve Waugh has cautioned his compatriots that the West Indies have the batting power to completely take a game away, ahead of a showdown between the teams at the ICC Cricket World Cup on Thursday.

Both teams showed plenty of firepower with convincing wins in their opening encounters.  After dismissing Afghanistan for 207, the Aussies cruised to a 7-wicket win on the back of 89 from David Warner. 

The Windies were ruthless against Pakistan as steep deliveries precipitated their opponent’s hasty dismissal for 105.  The Caribbean team then cruised to 108, losing three wickets in the process.  Waugh believes Thursday’s encounter will be a big test for both.

"The Windies will provide a realistic gauge on how the team are tracking, for they possess a squad full of match-winners that can dominate if they gain any sense of ascendancy in a match,” Waugh told the ICC.

‘They are the most watchable team in the tournament with a batting line-up that can kidnap any bowling attack with brute force," Waugh added.

“No ground is big enough when this behemoth of a batting order clicks into overdrive but they also have a vulnerability against high-quality bowling as they tend to play one dimensional at times,” he said.

 “For the first time in a long while they have fast-bowling depth vindicated by Friday’s win against Pakistan without their finest in Kemar Roach and Shannon Gabriel.

“Their Achilles heel, however, will be their lack of mobility in the field and this is where Australia can influence the outcome.

Every side in this tournament will be wary of playing the Windies and I wouldn’t want to face them in a knockout match.”

 

After more than a year away from international cricket, David Warner enjoyed a dream return as he ushered Australia to a routine seven-wicket win over Afghanistan in their Cricket World Cup opener. 

Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni will go head-to-head in the opening game of the 2019 Indian Premier League as defending champions Chennai Super Kings face Royal Challengers Bangalore.

An eight-wicket win over Sunrisers Hyderabad brought a third title for Chennai last year and they have assembled a star-studded squad in an attempt to retain their crown.

The IPL will act as a Cricket World Cup warm-up for some of the leading stars over the coming seven weeks, while there are returns for some controversial figures.

Ahead of match one, we run through everything you need to know about IPL 12.

 

When does it start?

Saturday sees the tournament kick-off in Chennai as the Super Kings host RCB, with the home side looking to win a seventh successive game against their opening-day rivals.

When is the final?

As well as hosting game one, Chennai will also provide the stage for the final on May 12, but there are 59 games to play before the showpiece contest.

Which teams are competing?

The line-up shows the same eight franchises that competed 12 months ago, although the Delhi Daredevils have renamed themselves as the Delhi Capitals for 2019.

What happened at the auction?

Two players topped the auction list in December – Indian seamer Jaydev Unadkat and compatriot legspinner Varun Chakravarthy.

Unadkat will turn out for the Rajasthan Royals this year – his fifth IPL team – after they paid an eye-watering 8.4 crores for his services, a figure matched as Kings XI Punjab secured Chakravarthy.

England all-rounder Sam Curran was the most expensive overseas player after he signed for Kings XI for 7.2 crores, while household names like Cheteshwar Pujara, Brendon McCullum and Alex Hales went unsold.

Who are the star players?

Chennai have the likes of Dhoni, Suresh Raina, Faf du Plessis and Shane Watson to choose from, while RCB will be led by India skipper Kohli.

The new-look Capitals have teenage sensation Prithvi Shaw in their squad, while Shikhar Dhawan has joined from Sunrisers Hyderabad.

Rohit Sharma, Yuvraj Singh, Hardik Pandya, Kieron Pollard and Jasprit Bumrah make up a strong Mumbai Indians line-up, while IPL legend Chris Gayle joins Curran at Kings XI.

Kolkata Knight Riders have big-hitter Chris Lynn within their ranks, while fellow Australians Steve Smith and David Warner return following their 12-month suspensions.

The duo will be eligible to compete for the Royals and Hyderabad respectively from March 29, when their bans are lifted.

England hopeful Jofra Archer joins Smith at the Royals, with Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler for company. Meanwhile, Afghanistan spinner Rashid Khan is one of Warner's team-mates.

David Warner said his ball-tampering ban has allowed him to grow and spend more time with family as the exiled Australian eyes a return to the national team.

Former Australia vice-captain and opener Warner is serving a one-year suspension for his role in the ball-tampering scandal against South Africa in March.

Warner was found to have devised the plan to alter the condition of the ball with sandpaper after Cameron Bancroft – who was banned for nine months while Steve Smith was hit with a year-long suspension – was caught on camera using yellow tape on day three of the third Test.

March will mark the end of Warner's ban, with an international return in Australia's proposed one-day series against Pakistan a possibility ahead of the Cricket World Cup in England, starting in May.

Speaking after being named captain of Bangladesh Premier League side Sylhet Sixers, Warner said: "Life has been good for me.

"I have been spending time with the family. I wouldn't be able to do that if I wasn't sitting in the sidelines.

"It is about getting the best out of myself and growing as a human being. My most important thing was being a father and husband at home.

"Now it is down to playing cricket again and making sure I get Sylhet Sixers on top of the table."

"It is up to the selectors whether or not they want to pick me," Warner continued. "At the end of the day, all I can do is score runs in this tournament and the IPL, keep putting my hand up and making sure that I am the best person I can be."

Warner will come up against former Australia captain Smith's Comilla Victorians in the BPL amid claims of a fractured relationship between the pair following the Cape Town fiasco.

However, Warner played down a rivalry with Smith by telling reporters: "I will just treat it as another game.

"It is not just taking on one player but taking on a team of eleven players. It is about making sure that our bowlers know how to get Smith out, and then tackle the rest of the guys."

David Warner was involved in another controversy when he walked off the field while batting after allegedly taking exception to sledging before returning to score a century for Randwick-Petersham on Saturday. 

When the St. Lucia Stars begin their campaign this season against the Trinbago Knight Riders, they will have with them one of the most destructive batsmen of the modern era in their line-up and frankly, he can’t wait to get going.

Steve Smith has signed for the Barbados Tridents in the Caribbean Premier League, joining banned Australia team-mate David Warner in the competition.

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