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Durham have appointed disgraced Australia batsman Cameron Bancroft as captain for the upcoming English County Championship and One-day Cup season. Bancroft will replace Paul Collingwood as the captain of the side. Collingwood, the former England skipper, had announced his retirement last year.
Bancroft, meanwhile, returned to first-class cricket and became eligible to play international cricket in December last year following the conclusion of his nine-month ban. Bancroft had received the ban for his role in the ball-tampering scandal during the Cape Town Test against South Africa last March. He returned to high-profile cricket through the Big Bash League. Playing for Perth Scorchers, he scored 298 runs in 11 games.
He then made his return to Sheffield Shield and hit the ground running. The right-handed batsman slammed an unbeaten 138 on his first-class return with Western Australia last month.
First-Class & One-Day captain: @cbancroft4
— Durham Cricket (@DurhamCricket) March 21, 2019
Durham high performance coach James Franklin said that the club is ‘delighted’ to appoint Bancroft as their captain.
“We’re delighted to have Cameron with us for the season and we’re confident he has the attributes to lead this exciting young Durham dressing room,” Franklin said.
“He has invaluable experience at the top level and has enjoyed a successful spell in England before, during his time with Gloucestershire,” he added.
Bancroft, meanwhile, will miss Durham’s Championship opener against Derbyshire in order to attend Western Australia’s end-of-season awards dinner. He will play his first game against Sussex, starting April 11. In his absence, Alex Lees will captain the side.
Bancroft has so far played eight Test matches scoring 402 runs at an average of 39.92 after making his debut in the last Ashes. A good season with Durham is more than likely to put Bancroft in good spot for an Ashes berth. Ever since Bancroft and David Warner were banned, Australia have tried out different players but without much success.
Bancroft is not new to playing cricket in England. Previously, he has plied his trade for Gloucestershire in Division Two of the County Championship.