Cameron Bancroft hints bowlers were also aware of Australia’s ball-tampering tactics


Infamous for involvement in the 2018 Cape Town ball-tampering incident, Cameron Bancroft hinted that the Australian bowlers were just as aware of the controversial tactic to try and alter the condition of the ball via sandpaper as were he, the then captain Steve Smith and vice-captain David Warner.

Bancroft said it’s “self-explanatory” that the likes of Josh Hazlewood, Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc weren’t unaware of the illegal ploy that Australia used to try and gain movement from the old ball at Newlands.

In an interview with ‘The Guardian’, Cameron Bancroft was asked whether the Australian attack, also including Mitchell Marsh and spinner Nathan Lyon, were aware of the use of sandpaper from him.

“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 said.

Thought Bancroft avoided taking names, he said enough to suggest that Warner and Smith weren’t the only ones involved with him in the entire plan. “Uh … yeah, look, I think, yeah, I think it’s pretty probably self-explanatory,” he responded when queried further over bowlers’ involvement.

Cameron Bancroft

Cameron Bancroft hints bowlers were also aware of Australia’s ball-tampering tactics

Cameron Bancroft was caught on camera trying to rub the ball with sandpaper in the third Test of the series against South Africa, an incident that rocked Australian cricket from the bottom and led to a thorough investigation into the culture and ethics seen in the game Down Under.

The trio of Smith, Warner and Bancroft was banned by Cricket Australia (CA) for their mistake, with the experienced two suspended for a year and their inexperienced teammate barred from playing for nine months.

CA also slammed Warner with a lifetime leadership ban and also penalised Smith, making him eligible to captain Australia for 2 years. Facing criticism for not keeping his team’s actions in check, the then head coach Darren Lehmann gave his resignation.

Coming back to Cameron Bancroft, who is in England right now playing for Durham in the County Championship, said his biggest mistake was that he wanted to be “liked” by his captain and the teammates. Bancroft admitted he “lost control” of his values in the process.

“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,” he said.

“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.”

“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,” Bancroft added.