Aussie star snubbed as Smith, Warner picked for World Cup

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The duo was part of Australia's victorious campaign in 2015, and was all but certain to feature in the 2019 edition until they got embroiled in the infamous Sandpapergate in South Africa a year ago.

Stand-in skipper Aaron Finch will lead the 15-member squad despite Steve Smith returning to the side.

Meanwhile, if their IPL form is concerned, David Warner has been churning out runs on a consistent basis for SRH.

Both players also regained their Cricket Australia contracts as the country's new list of contracted players was announced - less than three weeks after becoming eligible for worldwide selection again after bans imposed for their involvement in the ball-tampering scandal in South Africa past year.

Spinners Nathan Lyon and Adam Zampa have made the cut, with selectors going for the pace of Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Jhye Richardson and Jason Behrendorff, who has been in fine form in the Indian Premier League (IPL).

Meanwhile, pacer Hazlewood, who is out of action since January due to injury, was confident of recovering before the World Cup but the selectors chose to give him rest keeping Ashes in mid.

Their inclusion, though, means that Peter Handscomb, surprisingly, misses out on a World Cup berth.

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All the top order have been firing, and it is Handscomb who is the fall guy despite averaging 43 in 13 games this year.

"Our focus is to have Josh back bowling at his best for the commencement of a big Ashes Tour".

Australia World Cup squad: Aaron Finch (captain), David Warner, Usman Khawaja, Steve Smith, Shaun Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Alex Carey (vc), Pat Cummins (vc), Jhye Richardson, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Jason Behrendorff, Adam Zampa, Nathan Lyon.

Australia chairman of selectors Trevor Hohns said Smith and Warner's return to cricket had been "pleasing". Squads can be changed until 23 May without ICC permission.

The pair, who in March completed 12-month bans for the ball-tampering saga, have been welcomed back into the ODI fold for Australia's defence of the World Cup in England this summer, but there is no place for Josh Hazlewood or Peter Handscomb.

"Given the depth of talent and competition for spots there were a number of tough calls we had to make to settle on our squad of 15", said Hohns.

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