Former England captain, Alastair Cook has made another sensational statement days after the ball-tampering scandal had rocked Australian cricket.
Cook has revealed his teammates were ‘curious’ about Australia potentially engaging in ball-tampering during the Ashes as well.
On the third day of the Cape Town Test against South Africa, Cameron Bancroft was caught using yellow tape to gouge up the ball. Once the broadcasters, SuperSport TV repeatedly aired the footage and even displayed it on the giant screen, Bancroft was seen slipping the yellow tape inside his trousers.
Later, Bancroft along with skipper Steven Smith admitted the team had pre-planned the whole thing. The repercussions soon followed. The ICC banned Smith for one Test match and handed three demerit points to Bancroft.
Cricket Australia treated the duo along with David Warner even more harshly. The board banned Warner and Smith for a year and Bancroft for nine months.
The disgraced trio claimed it was their first instance of ball-tampering. However, television footage had put doubt in everyone’s mind. Footage from the Ashes series shows Bancroft putting sugar in his pocket. The Australian pacers got reverse swing throughout the series, as Australia decimated England 4-0.
Alastair Cook was part of the England side, and he admitted there were questions among his squad about the third Test in Perth.
“Yes a little bit, certainly in Perth when the outfield was wet with rain they got the ball reversing,” he said when asked whether England had doubts over ball tampering.
“I didn’t see anything. We have been pretty good at managing the ball to see if we can get it to reverse swing, but then there’s the thing with the quicker you bowl the ball it reverse swings more.
“That was the thing in 2005; we had Simon Jones and Freddie (Andrew Flintoff) who were quicker than the Australian bowlers.
“We have to be very careful, we were curious at certain moments, but then we couldn’t get the ball up to 90mph where they consistently could,” he added.
England’s highest run-scorer in Tests, Alastair Cook further said the harsh punishment dished out to the trio should be a timely reminder for the game to be played in the right way.
“It’s not for me to comment on punishment, but the whole thing is a reminder that people want to see,” he said.
“It’s the same with cycling, that whoever is playing that people play in a fair way. If you try your hardest and there’s no external things that you win or lose that way,” he added.