Cameron Bancroft: Australian says David Warner told him to tamper with ball

Cameron Bancroft has said David Warner told him to tamper with the ball during March’s Test between Australia and South Africa and he agreed because he wanted to fit in and feel valued. Inset image of the ball being tampered.

(BBC) Cameron Bancroft has said David Warner told him to tamper with the ball during March’s Test between Australia and South Africa and he agreed because he wanted to “fit in and feel valued”.

Australian opener Bancroft was banned for nine months after he attempted to manipulate the ball with sandpaper.

Bancroft said: “Dave suggested to me to carry the action out on the ball.

“I didn’t know any better. As simple as that. There came a pretty big cost for the mistake.”

Cameron Bancroft

Speaking to Australian broadcaster Fox News, Bancroft, 26, added: “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.”

In the subsequent inquiry, Cricket Australia found that then vice-captain Warner had ‘developed a plan to attempt to artificially alter the condition of the ball’ and ‘instructed a junior player to carry out a plan to take steps to attempt to artificially alter the condition of the ball using sandpaper’. Speaking at the time, Warner apologised and said he took “full responsibility for my part in what happened” during the third Test at Newlands.

Bancroft was found to be ‘party to the plan to attempt to artificially alter the condition of the ball using sandpaper’ and that he ‘carried out instructions’.

His ban from international and Australian domestic cricket is due to expire on 29 December and he will be available to line up for the Perth Scorchers in the Big Bash League.

Warner and then captain Steve Smith, who was ‘found to have known about the plan midway through the match but failed to prevent it’, were both banned for a year and will be unable to play international or domestic matches until late March.

Bancroft, who said last week that he almost quit cricket to teach yoga, insisted that he did not consider himself to be a victim.

“I had a choice and I made a massive mistake and that is what is in my control,” he said, and admitted he often wondered 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 admitted there have been some “dark days” following the incident. “I’ve made a mistake and it was a big mistake and I’m trying to move on from that and improve as a person,” Smith told Cricket Australia’s website.

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