Proteas

Emotional ball-tamperer Bancroft breaks silence

Cameron Bancroft comes clean (Gallo)
Cameron Bancroft comes clean (Gallo)

Perth - An emotional Cameron Bancroft asked for forgiveness on Thursday over his part in a ball-tampering scandal, saying he was ashamed of himself, but refused to comment on the role David Warner played.

Bancroft was banned for nine months after using sandpaper to scratch the surface of the ball during the third Test against South Africa in Cape Town in an incident that sent shockwaves through the sport and that he said he would regret "for the rest of his life".

He then tried to hide the evidence down his trousers, only to be caught on camera.

The 25-year-old opening batsman, who has played just eight Tests, will also be required to undertake 100 hours of voluntary service in community cricket.

"I lied, I panicked (and) I want to say that I am very sorry. It is something I will regret for the rest of my life. All I can do in the short term is ask for forgiveness," Bancroft, who was close to tears, told reporters in Perth after arriving home from Johannesburg.

"I feel like I've let everyone down in Australia and I'm not proud of that, it will take time for that to heal and earn the respect back.

"Through this whole experience and whirlwind few days it's been obvious to see how much the game means to Australia and the public, and we are representations of that. It's been a big wake up call for what that means."

Cricket Australia said Bancroft had attempted to "artificially alter the condition of the ball using sandpaper", with the aim being to generate more swing for Australia's bowlers.

Warner, who was also sent home and banned for a year, was charged with developing the plot and instructing Bancroft to carry it out.

Bancroft said it did want to comment on other players, and denied he had ever tampered with a ball before.

"I'm not here to comment about other players. I want to show how sorry I am, at the end of the day they are my actions and I am accountable," he said. 

"I have never ever been involved in tampering with a ball (before now) ... it compromises my values and what I stand for as a player and a person."

He declined to say whether he felt his ban was too harsh or whether he planned to appeal, only that he respected the process and "I will work with my manager and we'll move forward with that".

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