Cameron Bancroft backflip’s on ball-tampering claim
Aussie cricketer Cameron Bancroft has reportedly backflipped on explosive suggestions teammates were aware of the ball-tampering plot.
It was revealed Monday Cricket Australia’s integrity unit contacted the opening batsman following fresh revelations on the infamous ball-tampering saga that rocked the sporting landscape three years ago.
During an interview with The Guardian, Bancroft suggested the Australian side’s bowlers were aware of the calculated ball-tampering operation in Cape Town — something paceman Josh Hazlewood flatly denied in 2018.
The 28-year-old’s comments reopened old wounds on whether the banned trio were unfairly treated as scapegoats for the “sandpapergate” scandal.
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It has now emerged that Bancroft has told Cricket Australia’s integrity unit he does not have any significant new information to share with the governing body.
The Age first reported Cricket Australia is unlikely to pursue any further investigation into the famous Cape Town ball-tampering scandal after Bancroft’s reported decision to stand down.
The moment of Australian sporting infamy.Source:AFP
The West Australian was caught between a rock and a hard place after his wishy washy suggestion the bowlers on the Tour of South Africa — Mitchell Starc, Hazlewood, Pat Cummins, Nathan Lyon and Mitchell Marsh — were aware.
“Yeah, obviously what I did benefits bowlers and the awareness around that, probably, is self-explanatory … had I had better awareness I would have made a much better decision.,” he said.
When pressed again on the matter, Bancroft responded: “Uh … yeah, look, I think, yeah, I think it’s pretty probably self-explanatory.”
CA Executive General Manager of National Teams Ben Oliver said on Monday the organisation’s integrity unit had contacted Bancroft, offering him the opportunity to provide any additional details on the incident.
“There was obviously a thorough investigation,” Oliver said.
“There were actions taken on the back of that, and since that time everyone who’s been involved in the (national men’s) team has worked incredibly hard to rebuild confidence and ultimately aspire to make Australians proud of the Australian cricket team.
“We’ve maintained all the way through that if anyone has any new information relating to that incident that we encourage people to come forward and discuss that with Cricket Australia.
“In this case, our integrity team have reached out to Cam (Bancroft), extending that invitation to him if he does have any new information … or to remind him if he does have any new information in addition to what his input was into the original investigation, there is an avenue for him to do that.”
CA banned Bancroft from all international and domestic cricket for nine months, while captain Steve Smith and vice-captain Warner were both handed 12-month suspensions.
None of the other Australian cricketers or staff were sanctioned.
Umpires Nigel Llong and Richard Illingworth speaking with Cameron Bancroft.Source:Getty Images
CA Head of Integrity Iain Roy and General Manager of Team Performance Pat Howard conducted a two-day investigation in March 2018 which concluded that just three players were involved in the illegal practice.
The initial investigation also found that ball-tampering had not been carried out by the national men’s team before the Cape Town match.
Roy and Howard have since left CA.
When asked if CA would investigate whether the Australian team used sandpaper on the ball at a previous match in Port Elizabeth, chief executive James Sutherland said in March 2018: “Not at this stage. But from our perspective, if there are credible allegations, and there is evidence to come to light, we have powers under our code of conduct to investigate that or any other matter.”
Speaking on SEN’s Gilly and Goss, former Australian wicketkeeper Adam Gilchrist said it was only a matter of time before “names are named”.
Cameron Bancroft of Australia.Source:Getty Images
“It will linger forever, whether it is someone’s book or an ad hoc interview,” Gilchrist said on Monday morning.
“Eventually I think names will be named. I think there are some people who have it stored away and are ready to pull the trigger when the time is right.
“The fallout is going to linger on and on because pretty much most teams in the world were doing something with the ball in that period. It was getting out of control.
“I think Cricket Australia are responsible for why this will be continually asked. When they did their investigation at the time they had Patty Howard the high-performance general manager, Iain Roy was the integrity officer.
“They went there and did this very quick review of that isolated incident and perhaps no one in the team knew. Perhaps Cam did grab the sandpaper on his own accord and walked out there and did not tell anyone.”
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