Reacting to the latest buzz around the 2018 'Sandpaper Gate' saga, Australia's bowling quartet, Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood, Mitchell Starc and Nathan Lyon have released a joint statement, requesting everyone to end the rumour-mongering.
The 'Sandpaper Gate' grabbed all the headlines recently when Cameron Bancroft hinted that the bowlers were aware of the ball-tampering. Ever since the news broke out, the cricket pundits slammed Cricket Australia for not doing a thorough investigation on the incident. Most of them backed Bancroft's claims and said that it was impossible for the bowlers to be not aware that the condition of the ball has changed.
This forced the Australian bowlers to release a joint statement and urge the fans and experts to end the speculations around the controversy. In the statement, the bowlers have stayed firm on their previous stance that they didn't know about the ball-tampering incident during the Cape Town Test in 2018. You can read their statement below.
"To The Australian Public
We pride ourselves on our honesty. So it’s been disappointing to see that our integrity has been questioned by some journalists and past players in recent days in regard to the Cape Town Test of 2018.
We have already answered questions many times on this issue, but we feel compelled to put the key facts on the record again: We did not know a foreign substance was taken onto the field to alter the condition of the ball until we saw the images on the big screen at Newlands.
And to those who, despite the absence of evidence, insist that ‘we must have known’ about the use of a foreign substance simply because we are bowlers, we say this: The umpires during that Test match, Nigel Llong and Richard Illingworth, both very respected and experienced umpires, inspected the ball after the images surfaced on the TV coverage and did not change it because there was no sign of damage.
None of this excuses what happened on the field that day at Newlands. It was wrong and it should never have happened. We’ve all learned valuable lessons and we’d like to think the public can see a change for the better in terms of the way we play, the way we behave and respect the game.
Our commitment to improving as people and players will continue. We respectfully request an end to the rumour-mongering and innuendo. It has gone on too long and it is time to move on.
Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood, Mitch Starc, Nathan Lyon."
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