Cameron Bancroft’s recent comments, where he hinted that Australian bowlers were also involved in the ball-tampering scandal, has jolted Australian cricket. Several former cricketers, including Michael Clarke and Adam Gilchrist, backed Bancroft’s claims that it was impossible for the bowlers to not know about the incident.
The bowling quartet of Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood, Mitchell Starc and Nathan Lyon later issued a clarification that they were not aware of the ‘Sandpaper Gate’ saga. They also requested people to put an end to the speculations.
Michael Clarke, however, is still not convinced that the bowlers were not part of the ball-tampering scandal. Clarke added that the bowlers missed a very important detail in an otherwise ‘smartly worded statement, adding that they have not mentioned a word about the incident’s chief protagonist, Cameron Bancroft and their former bowling coach, David Saker.
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.”
“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.”
Clarke further added that his comments regarding the involvement of bowlers in the ball-tampering were not intended personally.
“I knew when I made my comments about what Cameron Bancroft’s quotes were it was more than likely going to offend certain people,” Clarke said on ‘Sky Sports’ radio.
“It certainly was not done personally from my perspective, particularly with the four bowlers concerned, I’m good friends with all of them.”
Bancroft was caught changing the condition of the ball during the Cape Town Test against South Africa in 2018. Later, their skipper Steve Smith admitted that the leadership group, including him and Warner, was aware of the incident. Consequently, Smith and Warner were banned for a year while Bancroft was handed a nine-month suspension.
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