On the third day of the third Test between Australia and hosts South Africa, Bancroft was caught using the tape to tamper the ball in order to help the Australian bowlers.
Bancroft and his captain Steve Smith, after the end of the day’s play, admitted that the ball-tampering was planned by the team’s ‘leadership’. Smith was forced to step down as skipper and has been handed a one-Test ban and a fine of 100% of his match fee. Bancroft was fined 75% of his match fee and has been handed three demerit points.
“We initially just saw that he had something in his hand and he put it in his pocket, but we didn’t know what it was,” Naicker told Reuters.
“It was only when he later panicked and put it in his underpants that we got sight of the yellow tape.”
“The moment he tried to dispose of it in his pants, we knew that this was a major incident. Until then, we were not sure what we were looking at.”
Naicker revealed that it was the broadcaster’s protocol to follow the ball even when it’s not in play.
“We have seven cameras that stay with the ball always, whether it is in play or not,” he said.
“But there are a lot more cameras, we had 30 at the ground, 18 of which are manned while the other 12 are static and used for lbw referrals and square-leg run outs,” Naicker confirmed on air.
“He (Bancroft) probably saw it two minutes after it happened and very smartly our cameraman focused on the coaching staff and we saw their coach (Darren Lehmann) get on the walkie-talkie to a player down on the field (Peter Handscomb), who ran on to speak with Bancroft. It was then he panicked.”
The instruction to follow the ball, Naicker said, wasn’t driven by suspicion towards the Australian tea. “If that was a South African, we would have broadcast the footage for sure,” he said.
“We have a responsibility to entertain, but just like journalists we have a moral obligation to provide unbiased editorial.”
The cameraman, known as Oscar, was also hailed on Twitter for exposing one of cricket’s most controversial moments.