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Joe Root: Smith and Warner will face mixed reaction

Back in the fold: Smith (left) and Warner

JOE ROOT says he is happy to see David Warner and Steve Smith back playing in England but warned them they might not receive the warmest of welcomes from fans during the World Cup.

The Australia duo have completed their 12-month bans for their roles in the ball-tampering scandal in South Africa last year and yesterday played a warm-up match against West Indies, in which with Smith hit 76.

Root added: ‘They’ve got two of their best players back. I’m sure they’ll get a number of different receptions over the next couple of weeks but it’s good they’re back. We want to beat [their] strongest side.’

Meanwhile, axed England opener Alex Hales insists he will be fully behind the team at the World Cup. Dropped after it emerged he was serving a 21-day ban for a second positive test for the use of recreational drugs, he was yesterday selected as first pick in the Caribbean Premier League draft.

He said: ‘I’m still a fan. The guys deserve to win it — I’ll be watching and cheering.’