The upcoming Australia’s five-match one-day international series against Pakistan in the UAE, would not see two of the most crucial Australian players playing – Steve Smith and David Warner.

On Friday, the duo was dropped out of the Australia’s squad for the final two ODIs, scheduled to be played in Dubai on March 29 and 31.

Steve Smith and David Warner were given 12-month ban by Cricket Australia (CA) for their involvement in a ball-tampering scandal, which escalated during a Test match in South Africa in 2018. However, both the players were allowed to play league cricket globally.

Despite their ban expiring on March 28, cricket fans in the UAE would not be able to witness the two legendary players in the field.

Trevor Hohns, chairman of selectors, said that Smith and Warner will be better playing at the Indian Premier League (IPL) that commences on March 23 in Chennai.

“While their bans will be finished on March 28, Steve and David have been working through rehabilitation from elbow surgery and it has been agreed the best pathway for them to return to play is in the Indian Premier League,” he said.

“David will play with Sunrisers Hyderabad and Steve with Rajastan Royals.

“Cricket Australia will continue to liaise with both Steve, David and their IPL clubs to monitor progress as we build towards the ICC World Cup and the Ashes,” Hohns said.

Recently, Steve Smith had undergone a surgery in January after he was forced to drop out of the Bangladesh Premier League Twenty20 tournament due to a ligament injury. Until the end of February, Smith remained in an elbow brace. Only last week, he picked up the bat and played at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

David Warner, too, returned from Bangladesh following an injury on the elbow. Though Warner’s injury was not as serious as Smith’s, however, he had to undergo the knife.

Following the surgeries, it was always uncertain whether the two Aussie players were fit enough to play for the ODI series.

First two matches will be held in Sharjah on March 22 and 24, followed by one game on March 27 in Abu Dhabi and two in Dubai.