Cameron Bancroft: David Warner encouraged me to tamper with ball

Updated: Dec 26, 2018, 09:19 IST | PTI

Bancroft was handed a nine-month ban while Warner and then skipper Steve Smith were handed one-year bans by Cricket Australia in exemplary punishment for their role in ball-tampering scandal in March this year

Cameron Bancroft and David Warner. Pic/AFP
Cameron Bancroft and David Warner. Pic/AFP

Banned Australian cricketer Cameron Bancroft on Wednesday revealed that it was David Warner, who encouraged him to tamper with the ball in the ill-fated Cape Town Test, and he did it since he wanted to "fit in" and feel "valued" in the team.

Bancroft was handed a nine-month ban while Warner and then skipper Steve Smith were handed one-year bans by Cricket Australia in exemplary punishment for their role in ball-tampering scandal in March this year.

"Dave (Warner) suggested to me to carry the action out on the ball given the situation we were in the game and I didn't know any better," Bancroft said in an interview, conducted by former cricketer Adam Gilchrist for Fox Cricket.

"I didn't know any better because I just wanted to fit in and feel valued really. As simple as that," Bancroft who is days away from completing his ban, said. However, he also admitted that he was guided by his own distorted values in making the horrendous decision.

"The decision was based around my values, what I valued at the time and I valued fitting in¿ you hope that fitting in earns you respect and with that, I guess, there came a pretty big cost for the mistake." Bancroft was candid enough to own up the mistake he made. "I take no other responsibility but the responsibility I have on myself and my own actions because I am not a victim. I had a choice and I made a massive mistake and that is what is in my control."

However, while introspecting what would have happened if he had refused Warner's suggestion, the 26-year-old Bancroft said he may have buried himself under the doubt that probably he did not put team's interest before him. "I would have gone to bed and I would have felt like I had let everybody down. I would have felt like I had let the team down. I would have left like I had hurt our chances to win the game of cricket."

It has been a tough road to redemption for Bancroft and he feels it's the best time for Cricket Australia bring in a change. "The reason why it was painful is because the truth hurts. Maybe in that review there was some truths that were pretty hard to accept.

"What does that bring? It brings an amazing opportunity to do something about it. Only Cricket Australia will know if they are being true to themselves, to be able to own up to some of those recommendations.

"If they can look at themselves in the mirror and be really content and be really peaceful, and proud of the direction they're going, that's OK. "If they aren't, like me, that value will always come undone won't it? It will present itself in the face to you and you'll have to learn another lesson."

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