Disgraced Australian batsman Cameron Bancroft has insisted on Saturday (December 22) that the ball-tampering ban has changed him a lot and he is now a completely changed man to the one who was involved in the incident along with David Warner and captain, Steve Smith.
The suspended batsman also revealed that he even considered walking away from cricket to become a yoga teacher following the ball-tampering saga in South Africa in March this year.
With his nine-month ban set to end at the end of December, Bancroft took the opportunity and penned down a first-person letter to share his emotional journey that was published in the West Australian newspaper ahead of his first professional appearance in the ongoing Big Bash League later this month.
In the letter, Bancroft described the major influence Australian coach Justin Langer West Australian mentor Adam Voges have had on him during the period of the ban.
Bancroft wrote, “Many people will judge you as a cheat, but that is OK. Always love and respect everyone. You will love those people because you forgive them. Just like you're going to forgive yourself. You know you cannot say sorry enough, but actually, it is time you allow your cricket to be about what you have learnt and use this opportunity to make a great impact.”
He continued, “With the support of family, friends and staff close to you at the WACA, you will begin the journey of forgiveness of the self, and of others. You learn self-awareness about who you are, about love, about your purpose and find what brings you joy. It will begin by waking up at the same time each day, going to the gym, meditation and plenty of what you have never been so good at dealing with... "spare time". It used to be just cricket - literally, that was it - but it will change.”
On his coaches support during the tough time, the batsman wrote, “On your way to present your case to your coach you realise this is the moment when you begin to become OK with the thought of never having cricket as part of your life again.
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. Have faith in the future. After all, you are not a professional cricketer, you are simply Cameron. Life is an incredible journey. Have faith and embrace uncertainty. This will become a defining moment for you.”
Yoga became an important part of his life while dealing with the absence of cricket, adding: “This early period brings about its own challenges. Running 35km a week and practising yoga each day gives you a release. You won't realize until later how significant the rolling out of that mat will be for you. It will heal you from the inside out. Peeling back the layers of who you think you are and understanding again the values of being true to yourself. The simple mistake of doing something because you were wanting to fit in had come at a huge cost. Yoga will teach you how to be true to yourself.”
However, Bancroft eventually decided to pursue his cricket career and has started working on his game to make comeback in the BBL for the Perth Scorchers on December 30.
(With AFP Inputs)