Ball-tampering scandal: Bowlers have ‘cleared air’ with Bancroft, says Paine

Hobart, May 19 (PTI): Cameron Bancroft has “cleared the air” with Australian bowlers after creating a flutter by hinting that all of them were aware of the 2018 ball-tampering plot in South Africa, Australia Test skipper Tim Paine said on Wednesday, “looking forward to moving on”. The 2018 scandal was once again in spotlight after Bancroft recently stated that whether the Australian bowlers knew of the plan to use a sandpaper on the ball during the Cape Town Test against South Africa, was “self-explanatory.” “I think they’re frustrated that it keeps popping up but I think that’s part and parcel for everyone who played in that test match,” Test skipper Paine was quoted as saying by ‘Sydney Morning Herald’.
“Their mood was fine, I think they’ve spoken to (Bancroft), cleared the air there and I think everyone’s looking forward to moving on.
“We’re all grown men and those guys have made contact with each other and sorted it out,” Paine added.
Bancroft has since then backtracked on his claim, informing Cricket Australia’s integrity unit that he has no “significant new information” to share.
After this the bowlers in question — Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc and spinner Nathan Lyon –, who were all part of the team during the ill-fated series, issued a joint statement on Tuesday to claim innocence and call for an end to “rumour-mongering and innuendo”.
The-28-year-old Bancroft reportedly claimed he was left flustered by the unexpected line of questioning and that there was no malice behind his remarks, according to a report.
The trio of Bancroft, then skipper Steve Smith and his deputy David Warner were banned for their roles in the ball tampering scandal.
While Smith and Warner are back in the team after serving their year-long bans, Bancroft, who was suspended for nine months, last played for Australia in 2019.
Paine asserted that Bancroft’s recent comments will not jeopardise his chances of returning to the national side.
“We don’t pick Test teams on what they say in the media. We pick test teams on how many runs they’re scoring … and that certainly won’t be held against him.”

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