Image courtesy of: Zimbio
Australia opener Cameron Bancroft has apologised for his role in the ball tampering scandal that shocked the cricketing world.
Bancroft and Steve Smith admitted that they had attempted to alter the condition of the ball on the third day of the third Test against South Africa in Cape Town.
Cricket Australia’s investigation concluded that David Warner had instructed Bancroft to use sandpaper to tamper with the ball.
As a result of this, Smith and Warner were banned for 12 months, while Bancroft was suspended for nine months. Smith will not be permitted to captain Australia for two years, while Warner will not be considered for leadership roles going forward.
“I want to say that I am very sorry,” Bancroft was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au. “I love the game of cricket and playing for my nation and my state, there is no greater pride for me. I am extremely disappointed and regret my actions.
“I am sorry to the people who have looked up to me around the world, especially the kids. I know I’m a role model and haven’t acted like one in this instance.
“I understand that I have let people down and I understand the disappointment in the broader community. Words don’t mean much in these circumstances, so I will focus on my actions and my conduct going forward.
“Not a second has gone by since last Saturday evening when I haven’t wanted to turn back time and do the right thing in the lunch break. It is something I will regret for the rest of my life. It is something I will look to improve on and earn the respect back of the community.
“All I can do in the short term is ask for forgiveness, I hope you can allow it in your hearts to allow me to progress on that journey. For now, I will do the best to contribute to the community.”
Bancroft had initially said that he used sticky tape to change the condition of the ball, but when asked why he hadn’t admitted that he used sandpaper, the 25-year-old said: “Yes, I lied about the sandpaper and I panicked in that situation, and I’m very sorry.”
Bancroft also admitted that he is gutted about the fact that he has “given up my spot in the team to somebody else for free”.
“Through the last few days and sitting in my own company the thing that breaks my heart the most is the fact I’ve just given up my spot in the team to somebody else for free,” he said. “People know that I’ve worked so hard to be able to get to this point in my career and to know that I’ve given somebody else an opportunity for free is devastating to me.
“I know it’s going to be a difficult journey back, but the moment I step foot outside this room is the moment I take steps forward to earning that respect back and get back that dream I’ve had as a kid growing up, and that’s playing Test cricket for Australia.”
Bancroft admitted that he was concerned about what would happen when Warner told him to tamper with the ball.
“It’s so big because you know the action of doing it is completely wrong,” he said. “For me, to carry out that in front of world cricket, and to be seen breaking the laws of the game, not playing within the spirit of the game, it’s completely how cricket shouldn’t be played and it completely compromises why we play this amazing game.
“It’s going to be a really long road, particularly for myself, it’s going to be really difficult to earn that respect back, but I know that for me is the most important thing.”