Cameron Bancroft‘s return to cricket has been confirmed after he was named in the Perth Scorchers’ squad for their Big Bash League clash against the Hobart Hurricanes on Sunday.
The Australian batsman, who was axed from the national team and prohibited from playing after being caught up in ball-tampering scandal, was said to be “pretty excited” to be returning to the field.
The 26-year-old’s nine-month ban from international and domestic cricket expired on Saturday.
Scorchers head coach Adam Voges said: “It’s great to have Cam back in the squad again. It’s been a long year for him and now he can move forward and get back to playing cricket at a high level.
“He’s been pretty excited to be back so he’ll bring energy and experience into our batting line up.”
Bancroft was handed the ban after he attempted to alter the condition of the ball with sandpaper against South Africa in Cape Town in March.
The resulting furore drew in captain Steve Smith and vice-captain David Warner, who were also axed from the team and sanctioned.
Cricket Australia launched an independent review and the governing body published a report into the “extremely regrettable” episode in October.
The scandal was thrust back into the spotlight earlier this week when Bancroft publicly described how Warner was the one to suggest he should tamper with the ball.
He told Fox Sports he did not know any better and just “wanted to fit in and feel valued”.
Born in Western Australia, Bancroft has played for the Scorchers since 2014.
Cameron Bancroft has revealed David Warner was the one to suggest he should tamper with the ball during Australia‘s notorious Test match in South Africa that saw him handed a nine-month ban.
Bancroft’s attempt to manipulate the ball in Cape Town with what was later revealed to be sandpaper was a plan orchestrated, according to a Cricket Australia investigation, by vice-captain Warner.
Now Bancroft has detailed the events in Cape Town in March this year, telling Fox Sports he did not know any better and just “wanted to fit in and feel valued”.
In an interview with the Australian broadcaster, the 26-year-old said: “Dave (Warner) suggested to me to carry the action out on the ball given the situation we were in the game. I didn’t know any better because I just wanted to fit in and feel valued really. As simple as that.
“The decision was based around my values, what I valued at the time and I valued fitting in… you hope that fitting in earns you respect and with that, I guess, there came a pretty big cost for the mistake.”
The right-handed batsman admitted, however, he had to take responsibility for his part in the scandal, saying he is not a “victim”.
He added: “I take no other responsibility but the responsibility I have on myself and my own actions because I am not a victim. I had a choice and I made a massive mistake and that is what is in my control.”
Former Australia captain Steve Smith was found to have known about the plan midway through the third Test against the Proteas but failed to prevent it and, as such, all three players received lengthy suspensions.
Last week, Smith admitted there have been some “dark days” following the incident.
“I’ve made a mistake and it was a big mistake and I’m trying to move on from that and improve as a person,” Smith told Cricket Australia’s website.
Bancroft’s ban from international and domestic cricket expires on December 29 and he is available to line up for the Perth Scorchers in the Big Bash League.
Earlier this year, he joined the Desert Blaze in the Strike League in Australia’s Northern Territory during the ‘winter’ months of July and August, where he was caught for one in his first innings, and posted a top score of 78 during the tournament.
Australian batsman Cameron Bancroft revealed he considered giving up cricket to become a yoga teacher after the ball-tampering scandal that rocked the cricketing world.
Bancroft received a nine-month ban from international and domestic cricket for his part in the ball-tampering scandal in South Africa earlier in the year where he used sandpaper to alter the condition of the ball. Then-captain Steve Smith and deputy David Warner were suspended for a year.
A day after Smith held a press conference in Sydney, Bancroft also broken his silence. His ban runs out in a week.
Bancroft decided to do that through a letter addressed to his former self, which was published in the West Australian newspaper.
In it, Bancroft talked about the major influence Australian coach Justin Langer has had on him, along with West Australian mentor Adam Voges. He said a crucial moment was when Voges asked him to justify why he should be on a pre-season trip to Brisbane with the Western Warriors Sheffield Shield team.
“On your way to present your case to your coach you realise this is the moment when you begin to become OK with the thought of never having cricket as part of your life again,” he wrote in the letter.
“Until you are able to acknowledge that you are Cameron Bancroft, the person who plays cricket as a profession, and not Cameron Bancroft the cricketer, you will not be able to move forward. This will become a defining moment for you.”
Bancroft revealed yoga became an important part of his life while dealing with the ramifications of the ban. In fact, at one point he considered quitting the game to become of a yoga teacher.
“Maybe cricket isn’t for you, you’ll ask yourself … will you return? Yoga will be such a fulfilling experience,” he wrote.
Bancroft ultimately decided to return to cricket and is set to make his comeback in the Big Bash Twenty20 League for the Perth Scorchers on December 30.
“While you do not look that different, on the inside you are a vastly different man to the bloke who made that mistake in South Africa,” he added in the letter. “You know you cannot say sorry enough, but actually it is time you allow your cricket to be about what you have learnt and use this opportunity to make a great impact.”