Cricket, which is regarded as the ‘gentleman’s game’, took a huge blow, when images of Australian players engaging in misconduct appeared during a 2018 Cape Town Test against South Africa. The three players involved were former Australia skipper Steve Smith, star opener David Warner and Cameron Bancroft, as they tried to tamper with the ball using a sandpaper.
The trio were subsequently reprimanded for their actions, with both Smith and Warner being suspended .for a year and the former also losing his captaincy to Tim Paine. Meanwhile, Bancroft, who was spotted using the sandpaper hidden in his trousers, served a nine-month ban, something that derailed his international career upto certain extent.
Fast forward to three years, Bancroft in an interview to The Guardian has now went on to hint that the Australian bowlers were aware about the plot.
“I think, yeah, I think it’s pretty probably self-explanatory,” a hesitant Bancroft answered after being asked if the bowlers were aware about it.
“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.
However, Bancroft also admits that had he been even a little aware of the consequences, he would have made a better decision.
“Had I had better awareness I would have made a much better decision,” the Aussie added, who is currently in England to fulfill his English County duties.
Bancroft also mentioned that he regrets letting the entire team down by compromising values.
“I was obviously disappointed because I’d let the team down and carried out an act that completely compromised my values. But it came down for me just when I was really improving at that level,” he concluded.
Here are a few reactions:
Cameron Bancroft had zero to gain from talking about the bowlers re: ball tampering. People have formed their own assumptions/conclusions anyway, now he’s attached his name to what is basically just another accusation. Bizarre.
— Brett Sprigg (@BrettSprigg) May 15, 2021
Fascinating interview. As a former club bowler, of course the Australian bowlers knew about ball tampering. These are seasoned pros with world class skill sets in fast bowling and to think that Hazelwood, Starc & Cummins were completely unaware is laughably naive! https://t.co/rr5xHX6hmQ
— Shounak (@ShaunSummers11) May 15, 2021
Sad to see that Cameron Bancroft has given up on his dreams to someday play for Australia again.
— Dan Liebke (@LiebCricket) May 15, 2021
Cam Bancroft might have revealed a little bit more than before, something talked about informally on the circuit, about SandpaperGate. “Were the bowlers aware?” It is “self-explanatory” he says. That can’t mean a no, surely.
— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) May 15, 2021
Cricket Australia had 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.