Cricket

Sandpaper controversy | 'Self-explanatory' that other bowlers were aware of ball-tampering: Bancroft

Cameron Bancroft. File   | Photo Credit: RYAN PIERSE

Cameron Bancroft, one of the three central figures in the infamous ball-tampering scandal, says it is "self explanatory" that apart from Steven Smith, David Warner and himself, Australian bowlers were also aware of the illegal tactics during the Newlands Test.

Bancroft was caught on camera using sandpaper on the ball in the third Test against South Africa in 2018, a scandal that had rocked Australian and world cricket.

In an interview with The Guardian, asked if some of the bowlers knew what he was doing, Bancroft replied: "Yeah, look, all I wanted to do was to be responsible and accountable for my own actions and part.

"Yeah, obviously what I did benefits bowlers and the awareness around that, probably, is self-explanatory," he added.

Asked again if his bowling colleagues had some knowledge of what was happening, he replied: "Uh … yeah, look. I think, yeah, I think it’s pretty probably self-explanatory." The Australian bowling attack in the Newlands Test had comprised pacers Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood, Mitchell Marsh and spinner Nathan Lyon.

Bancroft, who is currently playing for Durham in the English County Championship, said he wanted to be "liked" by his teammates and in turn “lost control” of his values.

"I invested too much to the point where I lost control of my values. What had become important to me was being liked, being well valued, feeling really important to my teammates, like I was contributing something by using sandpaper on a cricket ball.

"That’s something I don’t think I even understood until that mistake happened. But it’s part of the journey and a hard lesson I needed to learn." The 28-year-old rued that he was not able to make a better decision at that time.

"I guess one thing I learnt through the journey and being responsible is that’s where the buck stops (with Bancroft himself). Had I had better awareness I would have made a much better decision," said Bancroft.

The trio of Bancroft, Smith and Warner were banned for their roles in the ball tampering scandal.

While Bancroft was handed a nine-month ban, then skipper Smith and his deputy Warner were suspended for a year each.

CA also slapped Warner, who was declared the plotter-in-chief, with a lifetime leadership ban while Smith was banned from leading Australia for two years.

Head coach Darren Lehmann also resigned in the aftermath of the scandal.


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Printable version | Jun 25, 2021 4:40:34 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/cricket/sandpaper-controversy-self-explanatory-that-other-bowlers-were-aware-of-ball-tampering-bancroft/article34569710.ece

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