Disgraced and banned Test opener Cameron Bancroft was a central figure in the ball-tampering scandal that has tarnished the reputation and integrity of the Australia cricket. Bancroft was the one who was caught on the cameras using sandpaper to alter the condition of the ball.
He then tried to hide it in his trousers and lied to the umpires, when confronted.
Bancroft reached Perth, Australia and faced up to the press. Cameron Bancroft admitted he “lied and panicked” on that fateful day in Cape Town. He was banned from international and Australian domestic cricket for nine months.
The 25-year-old opener expressed deep regret and apologized to the Australia public, asking for forgiveness as he picks up the pieces of his shattered career.
“I want to say that I am very sorry,” Bancroft said. “I love the game of cricket and playing for my nation and my state there is no greater pride for me. I am extremely disappointed and regret my actions. “
Bancroft continued, "I am sorry to the people who have looked up to me around the world, especially the kids. I know I’m a role model and haven’t acted like one in this instance. I understand that I have let people down and I understand the disappointment in the broader community. Words don’t mean much in these circumstances, so I will focus on my actions and my conduct going forward.”
Bancroft said, “Not a second has gone by since last Saturday evening when I haven’t wanted to turn back time and do the right thing in the lunch break. It is something I will regret for the rest of my life. It is something I will look to improve on and earn the respect back of the community. All I can do in the short term is ask for forgiveness, I hope you can allow it in your hearts to allow me to progress on that journey. For now, I will do the best to contribute to the community.”
On being asked why he said that he used a sticky tape to rough the ball up, but investigations found that it was sandpaper; Bancroft said, “Yes, I lied about the sandpaper and I panicked in that situation, and I’m very sorry.”
“Through the last few days and sitting in my own company the thing that breaks my heart the most is the fact I’ve just given up my spot in the team to somebody else for free,” he said.
He concluded, “People know that I’ve worked so hard to be able to get to this point in my career and to know that I’ve given somebody else an opportunity for free is devastating to me. I know it’s going to be a difficult journey back, but the moment I step foot outside this room is the moment I take steps forward to earning that respect back and get back that dream I’ve had as a kid growing up, and that’s playing Test cricket for Australia.”
(With inputs from cricket.com.au)