Australian middle order batsman Moises Henriques has given an all-new lead to the controversy involving Steve Smith and Cameron Bancroft.
In a tweet that he posted, Henriques said he assumes that there was no meeting between the senior members of the team and that Steve Smith took the onus on himself to prevent young Cameron Bancroft from getting into an unwanted controversy. However, as it turned out, both Smith and Bancroft had to face the wrath of ICC for their alleged involvement.
In my uneducated opinion, I dare say there was never a senior players meeting to discuss cheating - Smith made that up to take the heat of a young Cameron Bancroft not realising the outrage that would follow.— Moises Henriques (@Mozzie21) March 26, 2018
Henriques wrote, "In my uneducated opinion, I dare say there was never a senior players meeting to discuss cheating - Smith made that up to take the heat of a young Cameron Bancroft not realizing the outrage that would follow."
He further wrote, "Ps. Not saying no one was aware of Cameron doing it, just highly doubt there was a ‘senior players meeting’ to decide to cheat. I think it was the captain attempting to protect a young player. They had 10 mins of panic between end of play & press conference."
Henriques, who has played 4 Tests, 11 ODIs and 11 T20Is for Australia, though is not part of the Australian squad for the Test series in South Africa and was not present himself in the dressing room. Whether this guesswork or something that he has heard from an Australian player present in the dressing room is not clear.
The incident also led to a major outrage in Australia with government agencies asking for Smith's removal. Cricket Australia's Chief Executive James Sutherland is on his way to South Africa to complete an internal probe, the findings of which will be made public on Wednesday.
Smith meanwhile has been banned for the final Test by the ICC while Bancroft has been docked 75 percent of his match fees.