Updated: March 25, 2018 7:34:58 pm
Australia’s Cameron Bancroft admitted that he has been charged by umpires of altering the conditions of the ball during Day 3 of the third Test against South Africa in Cape Town. “We just had discussions with the match officials. I’ve been charged with attempting to change the condition of the ball,” said Bancroft in a press conference after Day 3. Bancroft said that he had used a “Yellow tape” which was caught on camera and the visuals of him using the tape went viral as the day progressed.
“Once I was sighted on the big screens I panicked quite a lot,” he said, “That resulted in me shoving it down my trousers.” Bancroft said that the tape is part of their kit and that he tried to collect some granules from the rough part of the pitch on the sticky part of the tape and then rub the ball with that side, thereby affecting the ball.
Australian captain Steve Smith, who was sitting with Bancroft during the presser, admitted that the “leadership group” of the team knew about it. “We spoke about it at Lunch and I’m not proud of it. It’s not within the spirit of the game, my integrity or the team’s integrity, the leadership group’s integrity has all come to question and rightly so. It’s not on and it certainly won’t happen again I can promise you that.” Smith refused to mention the specific names of the individuals apart from himself who knew about it but he said that the coaches weren’t involved. “It was only the players,” he said.
— Laurie Reid (@Laurie_Reid1) 24 March 2018
Cameron Bancroft was summoned by the umpires during the second session of the day’s play to speak with him about the incident and at the time, he produced a black cloth to show that it was what he used to wipe the ball. Visuals later emerged of him using the yellow tape on the ball.
While Smith said that the coaches knew nothing about it, it is to be noted that visuals showed that Darren Lehmann was speaking through a walkie-talkie to substitute fielder Peter Handscomb before the umpires had summoned Bancroft. Handscomb then spoke with Bancroft and it was then that the latter shifted the tape from his right pocket to inside his pants.
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