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Steve Smith and David Warner can lead Australia to World Cup glory, says Shane Warne

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Shane Warne believes Steve Smith and David Warner should walk straight back into the Australia team when their bans expire.

Shane Warne expects Steve Smith and David Warner to walk straight back into the Australia side when their international bans expire at the end of the month and believes the pair can win the World Cup this year.

Both Smith and Warner were suspended for 12 months for their roles in a ball-tampering scandal in South Africa last March and have not been allowed to play top-level cricket since.

However, the pair could be re-integrated into the squad ahead of the World Cup in England and Wales and Ashes series this summer, with both events live on Sky Sports.

Warne told Sky Sports News: "I think Smith and Warner will be accepted with open arms. They have done their time. They are not bad people, they just made a bad mistake.

David Warner and Steve Smith of Australia head out to bat during day two of the Second Test match between Bangladesh and Australia at Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium on September 5, 2017 in Chittagong, Bangladesh.
Image: Warner and Smith met with their Australia team-mates in the United Arab Emirates this month

"I have forgiven them. They have done 12 months which was very harsh. I don't agree with what they did and I was very disappointed in those actions.

"When you have got that sort of class as a cricketer, they will go straight back into the World Cup squad.

"The way Australia are playing at the moment, I wouldn't write them off and I think they can win the World Cup.

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"They have played well here, they have won the last World Cup here in England, they have played in five of the last six World Cup finals, they just beat India in the T20 series and to chase 360 in India is an ominous sign for the rest of the World Cup competition.

"I think Smith and Warner will be back as good as they ever were. They will be hungry and excited I am expecting some big things from them."

Warne was speaking in his role as Rajastan Royals brand ambassador at the launch of the Rajasthan Royals UK academy.

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