Former Australia captain Steve Smith backed Cameron Bancroft as a “good choice” to lead Durham county side as captain. Bancroft, who served a nine-months suspension last year for his role in the ball tampering scandal, had been appointed to lead the side for the 2019 county season. The selection was criticised in some quarters, with former England fast bowler calling it “disgraceful”.
Speaking in an interview to ESPNCricinfo, Smith said that Bancroft has shown “great character” since his return. “Cam is a good choice for captain. He’s got a good head on his shoulders and has shown great character in the way he has come back after his time out,” the 29-year-old said.
“It has been a tough time for him no doubt, but he’s a good guy who will do his best for Durham and will lead them well. He gets the game pretty well and has a good understanding of strategy and players,” he added.
Smith added that Bancroft has found form with the bat which will help him in the tournament. “He’s found a bit of form with the bat and will be able to use his experience in a positive way,” he said.
Former Australia allrounder and current Durham director of cricket Marcus North has played with Bancroft at Western Australia at the past, which according to Smith is a huge advantage. “He is good mates with Marcus North from WA and he will know what Cam is all about. They will work well together to get the best out of the team,” he said.
“It is obviously a shame that he is missing the first game with a prior commitment to WA, but I’m sure he is itching to get out there and show what he can do and give his best. County cricket is a great environment and Cam will make the most of his chance I’m sure to show what it means to him,” he added.