Cameron Bancroft has revealed he nearly quit cricket to become a yoga teacher, during his nine-month ban from the sport.
The Aussie opener was found guilty of ball tampering during day three of a Test match against South Africa earlier this year after television coverage showed he had been using sandpaper on the ball, and received a ban from both domestic and international cricket, along with David Warner and Steve Smith.
Due for a return on December 30 with an appearance set for Perth Scorchers in the Big Bash, Bancroft has first written an open letter to his former self featuring in The West Australian newspaper.
Inside the letter Bancroft explains how the moment of being left him out of a pre-season trip to Brisbane along with being forced to provide reasons why he should be selected by Western Australia coach Adam Voges, nearly led to his retirement from the game.
"You easily write four pages of reasons - it's truly unfulfilling," he wrote, per Sky Sports. 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. This will become a defining moment for you.
"Maybe cricket isn't for you, you'll ask yourself… will you return? Yoga will be such a fulfilling experience. It's hard to feel this reality could exist."
The letter also reflected on the decision to cheat during a professional match:
"It was a simple mistake of doing something because you were wanting to fit in."
"It has come at a huge cost.
"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."
The move into yoga never materialised and now Bancroft is in preparations to make a return to cricket.