The infamous Sandpaper Scandal of 2018 has again come to haunt Australian cricket with one of the accused Cameron Bancroft making a sensational claim last week which suggested that the bowlers involved in the match might have been aware of the happenings on the ground. Former England captain, Michael Vaughan, never to shy away from giving his opinion, stated that there was nothing surprising in the revelation and that it was time that the controversy was put to rest.
Three Australian cricketers, David Warner, captain Steve Smith and Cameron Bancroft were accused of ball tampering in the Cape Town Test played in March 2018 and subsequently punished for their actions. More than three years after the episode which left Australian cricket in shock and rocked their prestige and honour, Bancroft again opened the Pandora’s Box of Troubles when he claimed that the bowlers in the encounter would have been aware of such proceedings (to tamper with the ball) on the ground.
“Yeah, look, all I wanted to do was to be responsible and accountable for my own actions and part. Yeah, obviously what I did benefits bowlers and the awareness around that, probably, is self-explanatory," stated Bancroft.
So the bowlers potentially knew about the ball in Cape Town !!! Of course they did but surely that episode has been put to bed a long time ago … Let’s move on … #OnOn— Michael Vaughan (@MichaelVaughan) May 17, 2021
Following his claim, former England captain and stylish right-hander, Michael Vaughan tweeted that he was not at all surprised that others on the field were in the loop of the decision to tamper with the ball with sandpaper. He however added that the issue should now be put to rest and the cricketing fraternity must move on.
“So the bowlers potentially knew about the ball in Cape Town !!! Of course they did but surely that episode has been put to bed a long time ago … Let’s move on … #OnOn," tweeted Vaughan.
A number of former Australian players have reacted to Bancroft’s claims. One of their all-time greats and also former skipper, Michael Clarke stated that it was almost impossible for the bowlers to have not been in knowledge of what was transpiring on the field.
“If you are playing sport at the highest level you know your tools that good it’s not funny. Can you imagine that ball being thrown back to the bowler and the bowler not knowing about it? Please,” said Clarke.
“What’s the surprise? That more than three people knew? I don’t think anybody who has played the game of cricket, or knows a little bit about cricket, would know that in a team like that, at the highest level, when the ball is such an important part of the game. I don’t think anybody is surprised that more than three people knew about it," added Clarke.
Following Bancroft’s interview, Cricket Australia also issued a statement saying that it was open to a re-investigation into the incident.
“CA has maintained all along that if anyone is in possession of new information in regards to the Cape Town Test of 2018, they should come forward and present it," stated a spokesperson for Cricket Australia.