Australian batsman Cameron Bancroft, who was involved in the sandpaper gate in South Africa, has hinted that the Aussie bowlers knew about ball-tampering tactics going on in the team.
The then captain Steve Smith, vice-captain David Warner and Bancroft were involved in the cheating plot in the Cape Town Test in 2018.
Smith and Warner were handed a year-long suspension, while Bancroft was suspended for nine months. Warner was also banned from leading the team for life, while Smith for two years.
The coach Darren Lehmann, high-performance chief Pat Howard, and Cricket Australia (CA) board director Mark Taylor all resigned in the following months.
Speaking to the Guardian in an interview, Cameron suggested that it was “self explanatory” that the bowlers were aware of the things happening in the team.
“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,” the 29-year-old 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,” he added.
When further asked about the involvement of bowlers in the scandal, Bancroft said, “Uh … yeah, look, I think, yeah, I think it’s pretty probably self-explanatory.”
The Western Australian admitted that he regrets what he has done and was disappointed in his actions.
“In purely cricketing terms it makes me feel a little shit. I was just settling and then, of course, it was lost. 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,” asserted the 28-year-old.
“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 added further.