Australians cleared to play in IPL before Twenty20 World Cup

(AP) — David Warner and Steve Smith will be among the Australian players permitted to rejoin their Indian Premier League franchises next month to prepare for the Twenty20 World Cup after a scheduled series against Afghanistan was postponed.

Australia and Afghanistan were due to play a three-game ODI series in India but both sides agreed to postpone it because of the complexities involved with traveling during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Smith and Warner were among a group of high-profile players who missed Australia’s recent series loss in Bangladesh. Cricket Australia issued a statement Sunday saying that as part of preparations for the T20 World Cup, it would be granting so-called no objection certificates to 20 players who have contracts in the IPL.

The lucrative T20 league, which was suspended in early May at the height of a coronavirus outbreak in India, is set to restart Sept. 20 in the United Arab Emirates.

India is the host of the T20 World Cup, but has also relocated the global tournament to the UAE and Oman. It is set to start Oct. 17.