Cameron Bancroft made an unbeaten 138 in his first red-ball match after serving his nine-month ban for ball tampering.
Bancroft, who along with Steve Smith and David Warner was involved in the sandpaper scandal on Australia’s Test tour of South Africa in 2018, which resulted in bans of up to a year for them, had made his domestic cricket return for Perth Scorchers in the Big Bash League. However, Western Australia’s Sheffield Shield game against New South Wales on Sunday, February 24, was his first first-class game since that infamous Test.
He carried his bat in a 358-ball effort, making half of his team’s total of 279 and offering a reminder of his abilities to the selectors ahead of the Ashes later this year.
However, it may be a while before Bancroft can move on from the incident. Speaking after the knock, he was again asked about his relationship with Smith and Warner, to which the batsman denied suggestions of any rift.
Bancroft and Smith had given interviews aired at the time of the Boxing Day Test last year, after which they – Bancroft especially – were accused of throwing Warner “under the bus”. The youngster however insisted that the three of them had stuck together.
“I’ve spoken to Dave … I think all of us, including Dave, have been really challenged through this period of time,” he told ABC. “I know that all three of us have really stuck by each other and looked after each other well. I guess moving forward there will be great lessons for all of us, including Dave.”
“There were some really powerful lessons I learned through my journey that I wanted others to connect and to share with,” he said. “If other people were triggered by that, I guess that’s their battle to face. But if I was able to touch people through some parts of my journey, and to help them break through (in) their lives, that was my sole intention for that.”