Australian Test opener Cameron Bancroft has opened up about the ball-tampering scandal at Newlands in Cape Town during the 2018 series against South Africa, hinting that the fast bowling unit had the ‘awareness’ around what was happening.
In the March of 2018, Australian cricket was rocked to its hilt when Cameron Bancroft was caught applying sandpaper to shine the ball on camera.
To make matters worse, Bancroft, in a desperate attempt after he had realized that he has been caught, tried to hide the sandpaper underneath his trousers.
Australian captain Steve Smith was asked about the same in the post-day press conference where he admitted to the offense, stating that the ‘leadership group’ had plotted the whole thing.
While the role of Steve Smith, David Warner became pretty clear, questions galore as to whether the Aussie pace-bowling trio was also involved in the planning.
During a recent interview with the Daily Guardian, Cameron Bancroft was asked the same after a bit of hesitation, he said that the awareness among the bowlers is “self-explanatory”
“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,” said Cameron Bancroft. “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,” he added.
When pressed again on the same matter “So some of the bowlers did know?”, Cameron Bancroft, according to the report hesitatingly replied“Uh … yeah, look, I think, yeah, I think it’s pretty probably self-explanatory.”
‘I invested too much to the point where I lost control of my values’- Cameron Bancroft
On his own role in the whole saga, Cameron Bancroft admitted that in a bid to make himself feel wanted and loved by his teammates, he got carried away and compromised his values.
“In purely cricketing terms it makes me feel a little shit. I was just settling and then, of course, it was lost,” admitted Bancroft.
“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. It felt like I’d thrown a lot away. I hadn’t got a Test 100 yet but I felt I was on my way to achieving that, so I was extremely disappointed to give that up. But that’s how important that part of my life was then. I’ve come to learn that it is important but it doesn’t dictate my life in the same way,” he added.
“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,” Bancroft further said.
>The Australian opener, however, reckoned that he is ‘grateful’ for the mistake that he made because it helped him learn a lot about himself and life.
“Yes. It doesn’t condone, whatsoever, the mistake I made but in terms of all I’ve learned about myself and life, I’m almost grateful for the mistake in a way. It’s been an interesting journey and I wouldn’t change it for the world. It changed me and I’ve become the person I am today. It’s also taught me to deal with the anxiety and disappointment that comes with cricket and everyday life. It’s how you’re able to stay as balanced as possible when that happens,” he signed off.
Cameron Bancroft was handed a nine-month ban following the ball-tampering scandal while David Warner and Steve Smith coped with a 12-month suspension and in Warner’s case, a life ban on leading Australia.