Cameron Bancroft has revealed David Warner was the one to suggest he should tamper with the ball during Australia’s notorious Test match in South Africa that saw him handed a nine-month ban.
Bancroft’s attempt to manipulate the ball in Cape Town with what was later revealed to be sandpaper was a plan orchestrated, according to a Cricket Australia investigation, by vice-captain Warner.
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 didn’t know any better because I just wanted to fit in Cameron Bancroft
In an interview with the Australian broadcaster, the 26-year-old said: “Dave (Warner) suggested to me to carry the action out on the ball given the situation we were in the game.
“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.”
The right-handed batsman admitted, however, he had to take responsibility for his part in the scandal, saying he is not a “victim”.
He added: “I take no other responsibility but the responsibility I have on myself and my own actions because I am not a victim. I had a choice and I made a massive mistake and that is what is in my control.”
Former Australia captain Steve Smith was found to have known about the plan midway through the third Test against the Proteas but failed to prevent it and, as such, all three players received lengthy suspensions.
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 said in quotes on Cricket Australia’s website.
Bancroft’s ban from international and domestic cricket expires on December 29 and he is available to line up for the Perth Scorchers in the Big Bash League.
Earlier this year, he joined the Desert Blaze in the Strike League in Australia’s Northern Territory during the ‘winter’ months of July and August, where he was caught for one in his first innings, and posted a top score of 78 during the tournament.