After missing out in 2018, Steve Smith and David Warner are ready to return to top-flight cricket with the upcoming edition of the Indian Premier League. The duo was banned by Cricket Australia for a year after the infamous ball-tampering row during a Test match in South Africa in early 2018.

While Smith and Warner were banned from international cricket, they were well within their rights to participate in domestic T20 leagues like the IPL. The Board of Control for Cricket in India, though, had decided to ban them form last year’s IPL, too.

With Smith all set to take the field for the Rajasthan Royals in IPL 2019, starting on Saturday, he was asked about how he felt at missing out on the T20 tournament last year.

The 29-year-old let his feelings known over the BCCI’s decision to bar him from competing in IPL 2018.

“I am available for all the matches and the BCCI has to answer why I was not allowed to play earlier,” Smith said during a promotional event in Jaipur on Friday.

The right-handed batsman, whose one-year ban ends on March 29, will be available for Rajasthan Royals’ first game on March 25 but it will depend on the condition of his elbow.

Speaking after his team’s jersey launch ceremony on Friday, Smith said that he was glad ot be back playing competitive cricket.

“It is exciting to be back on the field and I am looking forward to the tournament,” he said.

With the ban behind him, Smith will be eyeing good a IPL in order to make it to Australia’s World Cup squad.

Inputs from PTI