Cameron Bancroft has said he is in touch with David Warner and Steve Smith in the aftermath of the ball-tampering scandal. (Image credit: Cricket Australia Twitter)
Cameron Bancroft’s ban for the ball-tampering scandal that shamed Australian cricket ended on December 2018. The right-hander was selected for the Perth Scorchers in the Big Bash League tournament. After failing in the first three games of the tournament, Bancroft showed glimpses of his talent by blasting 59 against the Melbourne Stars at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. Bancroft’s knock came off 42 balls and included four boundaries and two sixes as the Perth Scorchers got their campaign back on track with a splendid six-wicket win against the Stars.
Speaking after the end of the match, Bancroft, who is expected to have a County Stint with Durham as he aims to stake a place in the Australian Test side for the Ashes, said he would love to play cricket as much as possible. “I just love playing cricket, regardless of the Ashes; it was something I was really keen to do. I've missed a chunk of domestic cricket and come the end of the cricket season, I'll just be keen to get over there and continue to improve and enjoy this great game,” Bancroft said.
However, it was his comments for David Warner that became interesting. Bancroft, who had blamed Warner for the ball-tampering scandal in Cape Town, said he would love to open the batting with Warner again and said he was still in touch with Steve Smith and Warner. “We're good people, very honest and passionate people. Dave, like Steve, all of us, we've all gone through our challenges, haven't we? I look forward to a day like that where I can go out and play cricket with Dave again. He's a quality cricketer and someone who's achieved so much in that cricket team. As a player, you strive to be around players like that. For my own learning as a cricketer, I'd love for that to happen,” Bancroft said.
Some weeks ago, Bancroft revealed that it was Warner who encouraged him to tamper with the ball and he did it since he wanted to "fit in" and feel "valued" in the team. Bancroft was handed a nine-month ban while Warner and then skipper Steve Smith were handed one-year bans by Cricket Australia in exemplary punishment for their role in ball-tampering scandal in March this year. "Dave (Warner) suggested to me to carry the action out on the ball given the situation we were in the game and I didn't know any better," Bancroft said in an interview, conducted by former cricketer Adam Gilchrist for Fox Cricket. "I didn't know any better because I just wanted to fit in and feel valued really. As simple as that," Bancroft said.
However, he also admitted that he was guided by his own distorted values in making the horrendous decision. "The decision was based around my values, what I valued at the time and I valued fitting in? You hope that fitting in earns you respect and with that, I guess, there came a pretty big cost for the mistake."
Bancroft was candid enough to own up the mistake he made.
"I take no other responsibility but the responsibility I have on myself and my own actions because I am not a victim. I had a choice and I made a massive mistake and that is what is in my control."
However, while introspecting what would have happened if he had refused Warner's suggestion, the 26-year-old Bancroft said he may have buried himself under the doubt that probably he did not put team's interest before him. "I would have gone to bed and I would have felt like I had let everybody down. I would have felt like I had let the team down. I would have left like I had hurt our chances to win the game of cricket."