Adam Gilchrist, former Australian wicketkeeper-batsman said Cricket Australia needed to do a more thorough investigation into the Sandpaper Gate incident after it happened and it is due to this reason that the issue will keep on lingering forever.
In March 2018, Cameron Bancroft was caught on camera trying to change the condition of the ball using sandpaper in a Test match against South Africa in Cape Town.
Cricket Australia Would’ve Made More Thorough Investigation In Sandpaper Gate Incident, Says Adam Gilchrist
The incident later went on to be labelled as the ‘Sandpaper Gate’ and is considered as one of the darkest moments in the history of Australian cricket.
“It will linger forever, whether it is someone’s book or an ad hoc interview,” Adam Gilchrist said on SEN’s Gilly and Goss podcast, as reported by Fox Sports.
“Eventually I think names will be named. I think there are some people who have it stored away and are ready to pull the trigger when the time is right. I think Cricket Australia is responsible for why this will be continually asked. When they did their investigation at the time they had Patty Howard the high-performance general manager, Iain Roy was the integrity officer,” Adam Gilchrist added.
Further elaborating on his point, Adam Gilchrist said: “They went there and did this very quick review of that isolated incident and perhaps no one in the team knew. Perhaps Cam did grab the sandpaper on his own accord and walked out there and did not tell anyone.”
“There was an opportunity for CA if they were going to make such a strong statement they needed to do a more thorough investigation to work out where the root of the problem was. Anyone would be naive to think people were not aware of what was going on about ball maintenance.
“I don’t think Cricket Australia wanted to go there. They did not want to go any deeper than that superficial example of ball-tampering. They did not investigate to see whether it was systemic had it been going on and on and on. Around the cricketing globe, it was widely accepted a lot of teams were doing it.”
Steven 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.
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.
During his career, Adam Gilchrist played for Australia in 96 Test matches and 287 One-day internationals. Adam Gilchrist holds the unique record of scoring at least 50 runs in successive World Cup finals (in 1999, 2003, and 2007). His 149 off 104 balls against Sri Lanka in the 2007 World Cup final is rated one of the greatest World Cup innings of all time.
Cameron Bancroft Would Have Made A Much Better Decision If He Had Better Awareness
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.
“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, 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 tampered with the ball. David Warner’s involvement in the infamous act was also confirmed. Australia went on to lose the match and Cricket Australia took some bold calls as they first removed Steve Smith and David Warner as 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.