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Durham name controversial Cameron Bancroft 2019 captain

The opener was involved in the Australia ball-tampering scandal.

Cameron Bancroft returned to action in December after a nine-month suspension (Jason O’Brien/PA)
Cameron Bancroft returned to action in December after a nine-month suspension (Jason O’Brien/PA)

Durham have named disgraced Australia batsman Cameron Bancroft as their captain for this season’s Specsavers County Championship and Royal London One-Day Cup.

Bancroft returned to action last December after a nine-month suspension for his role in the ball-tampering scandal in South Africa that also led to year-long bans for Australia captain Steve Smith and his deputy David Warner.

The opener was caught on camera attempting to manipulate the ball with sandpaper during the Newlands Test last March – although his status as the most junior of the trio saw him receive the lightest sanction from Cricket Australia.

The furore did not deter Durham from swooping for Bancroft as their overseas signing last August and they have now gone one step further following the retirement of stalwart Paul Collingwood at the end of last season.

Lead high performance coach James Franklin said: “We’re delighted to have Cameron with us for the season and we’re confident he has the attributes to lead this exciting young Durham dressing room.

“He has invaluable experience at the top level and has enjoyed a successful spell in England before, during his time with Gloucestershire.

“He’s proven since returning to first-class cricket over the last few months that he has the mental toughness, skill and attitude to excel at the highest level.

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Cameron Bancroft succeeds Paul Collingwood, pictured, as Durham captain (Owen Humphreys/PA)

“I’m sure he will relish the challenge we have at Durham this season.”

Bancroft, who has featured in the Big Bash League and Sheffield Shield on his comeback, will miss Durham’s championship opener at Derbyshire, which starts on April 5.

Alex Lees will therefore take the role for the fixture, with Bancroft available for the following week’s game against Sussex.

PA

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