Bancroft reveals Warner asked him to alter ball

  • Ball Tampering Scandal
- Agence France-Presse, MELBOURNE

Dec 27, 2018-

Banned Australian player Cameron Bancroft on Wednes-day confirmed David Warner asked him to alter the ball during the tampering scandal in South Africa and said he went along with it “to fit in”.

Bancroft was seen using sandpaper to try to rough up the ball in the Cape Town Test in March, receiving a nine-month ban from international and domestic cricket for his part in an incident that rocked the sport. Warner and then captain Steve Smith were exiled for a year after all three were found to be involved. A Cricket Australia (CA) investigation pointed to Warner as the mastermind and Bancroft revealed more details in an interview with former Australia wicketkeeper Adam Gilchrist on Fox Sports.

“Dave suggested to me to carry the action out on the ball given the situation we were in the game and I didn’t know any better,” said Bancroft, whose ban runs out this weekend. “I didn’t know any better because I just wanted to fit in and feel valued really. As simple as that. The decision was based around my values, what I valued at the time, and I valued fitting in... you hope that fitting in earns you respect and with that, I guess, there came a pretty big cost for the mistake.”

At the time, Bancroft had been forging a new Australian Test opening partnership with the more experienced Warner. But he made clear he did not consider himself a victim. “I had a choice and I made a massive mistake and that is what is in my control,” said Bancroft, who admitted he often pondered what would have happened if he had said no, and concluded it was a no-win situation. “I would have gone to bed and I would have felt like I had let everybody down. I would have felt like I had let the team down. I would have left like I had hurt our chances to win the game of cricket.”

Last week Smith also opened up as he begins to re-emerge into public life, distancing himself from the plot while admitting he failed as a captain by turning a blind eye.

Published: 27-12-2018 10:21

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