Smith (left) and Warner both played in the Bangladesh T20 league

Steve Smith and David Warner have been omitted from Australia’s squad for the five-match one-day international series against Pakistan in March.

The pair are eligible for the final two matches of the series because their year-long ban for ball-tampering against South Africa ends on 28 March.

Both batsmen are close to returning to fitness after elbow surgery this year.

Australia selector Trevor Hohns said “the best pathway for their return was to play in the Indian Premier League”.

The IPL Twenty20 competition starts on 23 March. Smith will play for the Rajasthan Royals and Warner is part of the Sunrisers Hyderabad squad.

“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,” added Hohns.

Hohns said the decision to leave Smith and Warner out of the five-match series against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates had been reached following consultation with Australia coach Justin Langer.

The pair’s return to the international stage could now come against England in a World Cup warm-up game on 25 May.

Australia also play a warm-up game against Sri Lanka two days later before they open their World Cup campaign against Afghanistan on 1 June.

The Ashes series in England starts with the first of five Tests on 1 August at Edgbaston.

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