MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Australia batsmen David Warner and Cameron Bancroft have signed up for a limited-overs tournament in Northern Territory in July as they look to return to cricket in the wake of the ball-tampering scandal which saw them banned from the national team.
Former Australia vice-captain Warner was confirmed for two one-day matches on July 21-22, while Bancroft would be available for the whole tournament, NT Cricket said.
The pair will be covering their own costs to play, NT Cricket CEO Joel Morrison told local media.
“There’s no payment to any players in our competition. These two players are coming up here, looking after their own flights and accommodation,” NT Cricket chief executive Joel Morrison told Australian Associated Press.
“We don’t lose sight of the fact that they’re up here because of the events in Cape Town.
“They made a big error in judgment and ultimately paid the price. They’ve also demonstrated a willingness to learn from their mistakes and move forward.
“We’re more than happy to support them on that journey. It’s great they can start it now, as opposed to waiting for summer.”
Along with former Australia captain Steve Smith, Warner is serving a year-long ban, while his former test opening partner Bancroft is serving nine months for his part in the Cape Town scandal in March, which sullied the national team’s reputation and caused a major sponsor to withdraw support.
The bans issued by Cricket Australia preclude the trio from playing at international and state levels, along with the domestic ‘Big Bash’ Twenty20 tournament, but they are allowed to play in local third-tier club competitions and T20 tournaments overseas.
“I’m really looking forward to playing in the Strike League in July,” Warner said in the statement.
“I heard so much about the competition while I was in Darwin earlier this month that I’m keen to be part of it.”
Smith confirmed last week that he would return to cricket at a Twenty20 competition in Canada, which starts in late June.
Warner, who has already committed to playing for Sydney club side Randwick Petersham at the start of their season, is also expected to sign as a marquee player in the Canada tournament.
Bancroft is confirmed to play with his Western Australian club side Willetton later in the year.
Tim Paine will lead Australia during their limited overs tour in England starting next month, their first international cricket since the ill-fated South Africa tour.
Reporting by Ian Ransom; Editing by Peter Rutherford/John O'Brien