David Warner will return to cricket in Australia on Saturday.
David Warner will return to cricket in Australia on Saturday.

Warner to return Australian cricket this weekend

DAVID Warner will play his first match in Australia since March's Cape Town ball-tampering scandal on Saturday in Darwin.

Currently serving a 12-month ban from first-class, List A and Big Bash League cricket in Australia, Warner will play two matches in the Northern Territory's Strike League this weekend for the City Cyclones.

The former Australia vice-captain will make his tournament debut against Northern Tide at Marrara on Saturday, before facing Cameron Bancroft's Desert Blaze on Sunday. According to Fairfax Media, Warner arrived in the NT on Thursday.

Bancroft, who was hit with a nine-month ban for ball-tampering, has already played six matches in the tournament, scoring 155 runs at an average of 25.80. The exiled Test opener failed to reach 10 in his first three games, but has found form with two half-centuries in his past three innings.

Warner goes into Saturday's fixture after a lacklustre campaign in the Global T20 Canada league. Playing for the Winnipeg Hawks, the left-hander averaged 13.63 across eight innings, falling for single digits six times.

His former captain, Steve Smith, also took part in the GT20C and enjoyed a more fruitful tournament (167 runs at 33.4) but also failed to take the league by storm on tacky pitches.

Also dealt a 12-month ban for his role in the ball-tampering scandal, Smith is set to return to cricket in Australia for Sutherland at the start of the Sydney Grade season.