'Sandpapergate' latest: Australian Bancroft suggests bowlers knew of ball-tampering plot

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Cameron Bancroft (Gallo)
Cameron Bancroft (Gallo)

Cricket Australia on Sunday said it was open to examining any new information about the 2018 ball-tampering scandal after Cameron Bancroft suggested the team's bowlers were aware it was going on.

Bancroft served a nine-month ban after being caught on television hiding yellow sandpaper, which had been used to rough up the ball, in his trousers during the third Test at Cape Town against South Africa.

Then-captain Steve Smith and his deputy David Warner were suspended for a year from all cricket and stripped of their leadership roles for their part in an incident that rocked Australian cricket.

Darren Lehmann also quit as coach and all the top brass from Cricket Australia left after a scathing review said their "arrogant and controlling" win-at-all-costs culture was partly to blame for players bending the rules.

But no one else in the team was held to account.

Opener Bancroft, in an interview with The Guardian in Britain where he is preparing for a season with county side Durham, suggested some of the bowlers also knew of the plot.

"Yeah, obviously what I did benefits bowlers and the awareness around that, probably, is self-explanatory," he said in a story about his path back from that defining moment.

"I guess one thing I learnt through the journey and being responsible is that's where the buck stops (with himself). Had I had better awareness I would have made a much better decision."

Asked again if some of the bowlers knew, Bancroft replied: "Uh... yeah, look, I think, yeah, I think it's pretty probably self-explanatory."

Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood, Mitchell Marsh and Nathan Lyon all bowled in the game and remain involved in the Australian set-up.

Cricket Australia said that if anyone had new information, they would look into it.

"CA has maintained all along that if anyone is in possession of new information in regards to the Cape Town Test of 2018, they should come forward and present it," Cricket Australia said in a statement.

"The investigation conducted at the time was detailed and comprehensive. Since then, no one has presented new information to CA that casts doubt on the investigation's findings."

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