Cameron Bancroft was at the centre of a major controversy on Day 3 of the third Test between South Africa and Australia after TV cameras picked up images of him appearing to use an object to tamper with the ball.
Shortly before tea Bancroft was seen working on the ball before returning a small object to his pocket. He was then seen moving this object from his pocket to his under pants. Shortly after that the onfield umpires – following word from the third umpire – approached Bancroft, who produced a smooth sunglasses pouch from his pocket.
— Carl Heymann (@carl_h) March 24, 2018
With reverse-swing proving a huge factor in the match, the incident has potentially significant ramifications in a series already defined by suggestions of foul play and general ill-feeling.
Former South Africa captain Graeme Smith said that Steve Smith and Darren Lehmann had questions to answer over their most junior player using an object to alter the condition of the ball.
Can we talk about this? pic.twitter.com/cmpRrOArgD
— Dale Steyn (@DaleSteyn62) March 24, 2018
The pictures came shortly after Darren Lehmann was attacked by Graeme Smith and Mark Boucher for calling for action against South Africa fans who made personal comments towards Australian players from the sidelines.
As Australia fell ever further behind in the game and potentially the series in South Africa, they – and Bancroft in particular – found themselves embroiled in yet another controversy.