"Very smartly written, but missed very important details," - Michael Clarke on Australian bowlers' joint statement

The bowlers insisted they “didn’t know a foreign substance was taken to the field”.

Michael Clarke wasn’t convinced with the Australian bowlers' statement | Getty Images

Former Australia captain Michael Clarke wasn’t convinced with the Australian bowlers' statement on the 2018 ball-tampering scandal in Cape Town as he lashed out at them by saying they missed a very important detail in an otherwise “smartly worded” joint statement.

On Tuesday, May 18, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, and Nathan Lyon – who were all part of the infamous Newlands Test in March 2018 – issued a joint statement on the Sandpaper Gate after Cameron Bancroft’s recent comments hinting that they were aware of the plot against South Africa.

In a joint statement, Australian bowlers yet again pleaded their innocence in the ball-tampering saga, but Clarke reiterated that they were aware of the plot to tamper with the red cherry, saying their involvement was hinted at by a former teammate Bancroft and not outsiders.

Read Also: Cummins, Hazlewood, Starc and Lyon issue joint statement; deny being aware about ball-tampering plot

The former captain has further pointed out that there was no mention of the incident's chief protagonist Bancroft and former bowling coach David Saker in the statement issued by the Aussie bowlers, saying the clarifications were “very smartly worded and written” by them.

Clarke said on Sky Sports Radio, “I knew when I made my comments about what Cameron Bancroft's quotes were it was more than likely going to offend certain people. It certainly was not done personally from my perspective, particularly with the four bowlers concerned, I'm good friends with all of them.”

Citing Saker's comment that it was a collective mistake, he noted: “I think there have been a number of people, past players, journalists who have made comments based on what Cameron Bancroft said and then what David Saker, the bowling coach, as well had said. I think that is what's really important after seeing the joint statement.”

The Aussie further explained, “The one thing that stands out for mine in that statement (is) they forgot how this conversation was brought up. It was comments from a teammate Cameron Bancroft who was involved in the situation and then quotes from David Saker who was the bowling coach at the time. After journalists and past players like myself, Adam Gilchrist and Stuart Broad, a current player, had seen what was said and written, a lot of people have made comments.”

Read Also: Stuart Broad expects bigger revelations on the ball-tampering scandal from David Warner after his retirement

Clarke added, “I think those guys and Cricket Australia need to remember how this conversation has been brought up...you probably should have put current teammate who was there at the time and did the crime and bowling coach who was there too. You probably left two people out.”

He concluded, “This statement is very smartly worded and written so I'm not going to sit here and continue to talk about every word in that statement. I've said what I've said. It certainly was not personal towards them. I said what I said because that's what I believe.”

(With PTI Inputs)


By Rashmi Nanda - 19 May, 2021

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