CAPE TOWN- Cameron Bancroft is 25-years-old, but he is the second youngest member of the Australian side doing battle against South Africa in Cape Town.
That is almost certainly not going to get him any sympathy from the South African public or the ICC, though, after he admitted to ball tampering during the third Test in cape Town on Saturday.
He may have come clean at a shocking post-day press conference, but it wasn’t like he had much of a choice.
The replays on the big screen 20 minutes before tea told their own story, and after the day’s play Bancroft was charged with ball tampering.
He was visibly distraught when facing media, accompanied by captain Steve Smith, who explained his own role in the cheating.
Smith would not say whose idea it was to start working on the ball illegally, but he did admit that the “whole leadership group” was in on it.
At the very least, that puts vice-captain David Warner in the picture.
Bancroft, though, believes that he found himself in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Smith had explained how Bancroft had not been part of the initial conversation on the plans to start tampering with the ball, and that he overheard what the leadership group was saying.
“I was in the wrong place at the wrong time and I want to be here because I’m accountable for my actions,” Bancroft explained.
“I’m not proud of what’s happened, and I’ve got to live with the consequences and the damage that I’ve done to my own reputation. I have to do my best to move forward and play cricket.”
When asked if he had been identified as the man to execute the plans because he was the rookie of the side – Bancroft is playing in just his eighth Test match – the opening batsman said that wasn’t the case.
“I don’t think in this particular case it was that way,” he said.
“I was in the vicinity of the leadership group when they were discussing it. I was nervous about it because with hundreds of cameras around, that’s always the risk.”
The ICC is expected to provide further information on the punishment that awaits Bancroft and Smith at 14:00 on Sunday.
Article sourced by News24