Warner encouraged me to tamper with ball, says Bancroft

Sherman Parsons
December 29, 2018

Now Bancroft has detailed the events in Cape Town in March this year, telling Fox Sports he did not know any better and just "wanted to fit in and feel valued". "I would have left like I had hurt our chances to win the game of cricket", Bancroft said. Steve Smith said, "We made a poor choice". At the time did I know any better? No.

A Cricket Australia investigation pointed to Warner as the mastermind, and Bancroft revealed more details in an interview with former Australia wicket-keeper Adam Gilchrist on Fox Sports.

Assistant editor Daniel Brettig had been a journalist for eight years when he joined ESPNcricinfo, but his fascination with cricket dates back to the early 1990s, when his dad helped him sneak into the family lounge room to watch the end of day-night World Series matches well past bedtime.

"What's important at this point is that we work with the players and with the leaders of the team on the reintegration of the sanctioned players when they become eligible for selection".

However, that would seem unlikely on the proviso they are selected for the 15-man World Cup squad which must also be finalised in April.

But Warner is a different case.

Despite the re-airing of the issue, Ponting backs Smith to return to a leadership position.

"Until you are able to acknowledge that you are Cameron Bancroft, the person who plays cricket as a profession, and not Cameron Bancroft the cricketer, you will not be able to move forward". But Roberts has refuted claims that this will make Warner's path to recovery a bit more hard than it was.

However, beneath the surface a bigger picture has been painted of Warner being isolated and pushed into a corner by teammates and the game.

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National coach Justin Langer said on Christmas Eve that he "cant' wait" to have Smith back.

Bancroft is right that the fact it was sandpaper matters little in the overall scheme of things.

I'm not sure whether Roxy Jacenko was involved (she appeared with the Warners while David gave that deeply unsatisfying press conference), but it couldn't have been any worse if she started marketing Bancroft bows on Instagram. If that's the case, then I don't think we should see David Warner in Australian colours ever again.

"We'll get the best outcome for Australian cricket and for them personally, but there's been no decisions made at this stage", he added.

Notably, Bancroft was caught on camera using sandpaper to rough up the ball in the Cape Town Test in March this year. I would have felt like I had let the team down. Bancroft's acknowledgement that he felt pressured to cheat in order to fit in is another glaring reminder of how the country's biggest stars lived in their own bubble. So too should Smith's.

Bancroft's frank honesty raises concerning questions about what sort of bubble the Australian team were really living in at the time.

Speaking to Cricket Australia's official website, "cricket.com.au" on Thursday, Ponting said he is quite stunned by the statements.

The media spotlight will turn back to David Warner.

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