Michael Clarke, former Australia skipper said nobody is surprised that more than the taunted trio of Steve Smith, David Warner, and Cameron Bancroft knew about the Sandpaper Gate.
Michael Clarke’s remarks came as Cricket Australia (CA) on Saturday said it is open to reinvestigating the Sandpaper Gate fiasco if there is anyone who has more knowledge about the matter.
Michael Clarke Don’t Think Anybody Is Surprised That More Than 3 Cricketers Knew About The Ball Tampering Sandpaper Gate Incident
This announcement from the cricket board came after opening batsman Cameron Bancroft hinted that there had to be wider knowledge about ball-tampering during the ‘Sandpaper Gate’ incident in 2018 in the Cape Town Test between Australia and South Africa than just the trio of Steve Smith, David Warner and the opener himself.
Speaking on Sky Sports’ Big Sports Breakfast, Michael Clarke said: “They’ve got to hold the ball to bowl with it. I can tell you now if you went and grabbed a pen, just a pen and put a little ‘1’ somewhere on my cricket bat; on top of the handle, on the edge of the bat, on the toe of the bat, on the face, under the grip, anywhere, just a little number one, I would have noticed.”
“If you are playing sport at the highest level you know your tools that good it’s not funny. Can you imagine that ball being thrown back to the bowler and the bowler not knowing about it? Please,” Michael Clarke added.
Further reacting to Bancroft’s comments, Michael Clarke said: “I love how the articles in the paper are ‘it is such a big surprise that Cameron Bancroft has made a …’ Actually if you read his quotes it is not what he did say as what he didn’t say in regards to other people knowing about sandpaper gate.”
“What’s the surprise? That more than three people knew? I don’t think anybody who has played the game of cricket or knows a little bit about cricket would know that in a team like that, at the highest level, when the ball is such an important part of the game. I don’t think anybody is surprised that more than three people knew about it,” Michael Clarke added.
Cameron Bancroft: It’s Self Explanatory That The Bowlers Knew That The Ball Was Being Tampered With
Cameron Bancroft, who is playing county cricket in Durham, said it was ‘probably self-explanatory’ whether the bowlers were aware that the ball was being tampered with.
Three years since the Cape Town Test, Cameron Bancroft, while not having taken any names, has seemingly admitted that Australia’s bowling attack consisting of Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, Pat Cummins, Nathan Lyon, and Mitchell Marsh knew he was scuffing the ball up with sandpaper.
“Yeah, look, all I wanted to do was to be responsible and accountable for my own actions and part. Yeah, obviously what I did benefits bowlers, and the awareness around that, probably, is self-explanatory,” Bancroft said to the Guardian interviewer Donald McRae as reported by ESPNcricinfo.
“I guess one thing I learned through the journey and being responsible is that’s where the buck stops [with Bancroft himself]. Had I had better awareness I would have made a much better decision,” he added.
When he was further stressed, Bancroft replied: “Uh… yeah, look, I think, yeah, I think it’s pretty probably self-explanatory.”
On the third day of the match against South Africa, Cameron Bancroft was caught on camera trying to alter the condition of the ball. As soon as the clip was shown on television, it went viral on social media and the entire cricketing fraternity condemned the act.
After the conclusion of the day’s play, Cameron Bancroft and then Australia skipper Steve Smith admitted that they did tamper with the ball. David Warner’s involvement in the act was also confirmed. Australia went on to lose the match and Cricket Australia took some bold calls as they first removed the captain and vice-captain of the side.
Later, the Australian cricket board handed a one-year ban to both Steve Smith and David Warner, while Cameron Bancroft was given a nine-month suspension. Australia coach Darren Lehmann also resigned after the episode.
Steve Smith and David Warner returned to the national team’s fold just before the 2019 ODI World Cup, while Cameron Bancroft has since struggled to break back in.