Bowlers aware of ball-tampering tactics: Bancroft
Cameron Bancroft has conceded there had to be wider knowledge of Australia's balltampering tactics against South Africa in the Newlands Test than the punished trio of himself, David Warner and Steven Smith. Speaking to the Guardian interviewer Donald McRae in Durham where he is playing county cricket, Bancroft admitted under questioning that it was ‘self-explanatory’ that bowlers in the Test team had to be aware the ball was being tampered with. "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," Bancroft said.
"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." When pressed further, he replied: "Uh… yeah, look, I think, yeah, I think it's pretty probably self-explanatory." On Saturday night, Cricket Australia clarified that the governing body was still open to hearing and investigating any new information brought to light about the Newlands incident, whether from Bancroft or anyone else.
"CA has maintained all along that if anyone is in possession of new information in regards to the Cape Town Test of 2018, they should come forward and present it," a CA spokesman said. While levying heavy penalties on Bancroft (nine months), Warner and Smith (one year each, with Warner banned from holding any leadership positions for life) for their roles in ball-tampering, CA had ringfenced the matter away from the rest of the team, although head coach Darren Lehmann resigned a few days later after seeing the tearful press conferences of the players upon their early returns to Australia.
Though Smith and Warner have returned to the team, Bancroft is now a long way from international consideration, having played the first two Tests of the 2019 Ashes series before being discarded and then struggling to recreate his best days in the Sheffield Shield in 2019-20. He performed better last summer, but is not considered to be in the front rank of contenders for a place in the national side. (Agencies)