Banned Australian player Cameron Bancroft on Wednesday 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 and 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 investigation pointed to Warner as the mastermind and Bancroft revealed more details in an interview with 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 coming 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 he clear he takes responsibility for his actions and 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.
Last week Smith also opened up, admitting he failed as a captain by turning a blind eye to what went on.
Asked what happened in the changing rooms at Cape Town before Bancroft attempted to cheat, Smith had said: “For me in the room, I walked past something and had the opportunity to stop it and I didn’t do it and that was my leadership failure.
“It was the potential for something to happen and it went on and happened out in the field,” he added.
“I had the opportunity to stop it at that point rather than say, ‘I don’t want to know anything about it’.
“And that was my failure of leadership. And, you know, I’ve taken responsibility for that.”
Smith made no mention of Warner, who has previously apologised and accepted responsibility for his part in the scandal.
Bancroft last week admitted he nearly walked away from the game to become a yoga teacher in the wake of the vitriol that met the tampering scandal.
He is expected to make his return for the Perth Scorchers in the Big Bash League on Sunday.
A day after Smith re-emerged into public life with a press conference in Sydney, Bancroft had also broken his silence a week ahead of his ban running out in the form of a long letter addressed to his former self. In it, Bancroft describes the major influence Australian coach Justin Langer has had on him, along with West Australian mentor Adam Voges.
He said a crucial moment was Voges asking him to justify why he should be on a pre-season trip to Brisbane by the Western Warriors Sheffield Shield team. Yoga became an important part of his life in exile while dealing with an absence of cricket, to the extent that he considered quitting the game to become of a teacher of the discipline.
“Maybe cricket isn’t for you, you’ll ask yourself ... will you return? Yoga will be such a fulfilling experience,” he wrote.
“While you do not look that different, on the inside you are a vastly different man to the bloke who made that mistake in South Africa,” he added in the letter.
“You know you cannot say sorry enough, but actually it is time you allow your cricket to be about what you have learnt and use this opportunity to make a great impact.”
(With AFP inputs)
Respond to this article with a post
Share your perspective on this article with a post on ScrollStack, and send it to your followers.