Banned Australian player Cameron Bancroft, who was the man caught red-handed during the ball-tampering scandal in March, revealed details of events on the day, saying David Warner suggested it first and he went along the plan “to fit in and feel valued”.
Bancroft was seen using sandpaper to try and rough up the ball in the Cape Town Test in South Africa, receiving a nine-month ban from international and domestic cricket. Warner and then captain Steve Smith were exiled for a year after all three were found to be involved. In the months since the scandal that rocked the cricket world, the narrative has changed from “cheats” to “pressure of winning” as Smith and Bancroft have been painted as victims.
In a interview with Fox Sports that was published on Wednesday, Bancroft revealed more details, pointing fingers at the then vice captain Warner, before adding that he was not trying to call himself a victim. This is in tune with the Cricket Australia investigation which pointed to Warner as the mastermind and another recent interview from Smith.
“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,” Bancroft said.
However, the interview, broadcast during the Boxing Day Test in Melbourne, divided social media with opinions ranging from sympathy for the youngster to ridicule over what was seen as a verbose blame game and a overwhelming feeling of making Warner the sole scapegoat.