Lessons in forgiveness and six weeks of Spanish have been part of Cameron Bancroft’s attempt to put the ball-tampering saga behind him and fight for his place back in the Australia side.
The 25-year-old Australia batsman said that yoga, learning a new language, and spending time helping less fortunate children had helped him gain perspective and move forward from the events that saw him banned from playing for Australia or the state side for nine months.
“I love the game, I love playing cricket and as hard as it would seem to connect how learning Spanish links to playing cricket for Australia again they’re all little stepping stones to me achieving that dream again,” he said.
Bancroft and his fellow conspirators Steve Smith and David Warner, captain and vice-captain at the time, will all be back in action this week. While Smith and Warner are in Canada playing the Global T20 Canada league, Bancroft will turn out for the Northern Territory Strike League starting Sunday, July 1.
Speaking ahead of the competition in his first interaction since facing the media upon his return from South Africa, the young batsman said his life had been a “roller-coaster” since that day at Newlands when he was caught on camera changing the nature of the ball and pushing the offending sandpaper down his trousers.
“You certainly ride the waves of grieving,” he said. “There’s been times where I’ve felt really sad, there’s been times where I’ve felt really angry. But overall, I’ve worked really hard on myself, been really busy with a lot of things and right now it’s just another step forward, heading up to Darwin to play some cricket and I’m really looking forward to it.”
Part of moving forward was that he bore ill-will neither to Smith and Warner, who as his seniors reportedly told him what to do, nor the critics, who came down heavily on him.
Bancroft revealed that he spoke to Smith and Warner at least every week. “They’re two really great people and we’ve been looking after each other.”
Several players have criticised the vilification of the trio as excessive, but Bancroft wasn’t among them. “For me, in that situation, it was about me and my mistake and the poor decision I made. What anyone else thought or said didn’t change the fact that I made a really bad decision and I’ve had to really forgive myself for that error I made.
“It’s all a part of moving forward with it all. The media reacted appropriately to the situation and what happened and I have no anger or judgement or resentment for that.”