Aussie batsman, Cameron Bancroft has named David Warner as the instigator of the ball tampering scandal against South Africa back in March and has claimed he felt “under pressure to cheat” in a surprising interview with Adam Gilchrist for Fox Cricket Australia.
Bancroft, captain at the time Steve Smith and opener David Warner, were all banned following their admission to roughing up the ball to make it swing during the third Test against the Proteas.
The 26-year-old, who will complete serving his nine-month ban from professional cricket on December 29, has spoken in depth for the first time since the ill-fated incident and admitted he didn’t want to 'let the team down' when asked to cheat in the third day of the Cape Town Test.
“Yeah, definitely I was asked to do it. I guess I didn’t know how to be true to myself in that moment. I didn’t have prior experience,” claimed Bancroft who was making only his eighth Australian appearance at the time.
“Dave [Warner] suggested to me to carry the action out on the ball given the situation we were in in the game and I didn’t know any better.
“I didn’t know any better because I just wanted to fit in and feel valued, really – as simple as that.
“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.”
Surprisingly, Bancroft admitted that even if he had said no to the ball tampering, he would have still felt as though his actions weren’t right.
“I’ve asked myself this question a lot, if I had said no what would that have meant and that’s the thing I’ve thought about.
“I would have felt like I’d let everybody down, like I’d let the team down. I would have felt like I had hurt our chances to win the game of cricket.”
Bancroft is now expected to make his return to cricket in the Australian BBL for the Perth Scorchers against the Hobart Hurricanes on December 30, having completed his nine-month ban and up to 200 hours of community service for his actions.
His team-mates, David Warner and Steve Smith still have another three months to serve on their bans. They are likely to return in Australia’s spring-time Test matches against Pakistan with a dark cloud still lingering over the ethos of Australian cricket.