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Sandpaper Gate: Michael Clarke Not Convinced with Bowlers' Statement, Says Missed Couple of Points

Michael Clarke.

Michael Clarke.

Clarke has hit back at Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, and Nathan Lyon over their statement on the Sandpaper Gate that happened during the 2018 Newlands Test against South Africa.

Even after the Australian bowlers issued a clarification on Tuesday, over Cameron Bancroft’s statements, former Australia skipper Michael Clarke is still not convinced. Clarke has hit back at Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, and Nathan Lyon over their statement on the Sandpaper Gate that happened during the 2018 Newlands Test against South Africa.

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The bowlers had said they “didn’t know a foreign substance was taken to the field". Now in response, Clarke has that it was “very smartly worded and written", but missed a few points. “I knew when I made my comments about what Cameron Bancroft’s quotes were it was more than likely going to offend certain people. It certainly was not done personally from my perspective, particularly with the four bowlers concerned, I’m good friends with all of them," he said.

“I think there have been a number of people, past players, journalists who have made comments based on what Cameron Bancroft said and then what David Saker, the bowling coach, as well had said. I think that is what’s really important after seeing the joint statement.

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“The one thing that stands out for mine in that statement [is] they forgot how this conversation was brought up. It was comments from a teammate Cameron Bancroft who was involved in the situation and then quotes from David Saker who was the bowling coach at the time. After journalists and past players like myself, Adam Gilchrist and Stuart Broad, a current player, had seen what was said and written, a lot of people have made comments.

“I think those guys and Cricket Australia need to remember how this conversation has been brought up so in their statement they should have added where it says: ‘We pride ourselves on our honesty. So it’s been disappointing to see that our integrity has been questioned by some journalists and past players’ — you probably should have put current teammate who was there at the time and did the crime and bowling coach who was there too. You probably left two people out.

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“This statement is very smartly worded and written so I’m not going to sit here and continue to talk about every word in that statement. I’ve said what I’ve said. It certainly was not personal towards them. I said what I said because that’s what I believe."

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first published:May 19, 2021, 08:26 IST