MELBOURNE - Banned Australian player Cameron Bancroft on Wednesday confirmed David Warner asked him to alter the ball during the tampering scandal in South Africa and said he went along with it “to fit in”.
Bancroft was seen using sandpaper to try and rough up the ball in the Cape Town Test in March, receiving a nine-month ban from international and domestic cricket for his part in an incident that rocked the sport.
Warner and then captain Steve Smith were exiled for a year after all three were found to be involved.
A Cricket Australia investigation pointed to Warner as the mastermind and Bancroft revealed more details in an interview with Fox Sports.
“Dave 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,” said Bancroft, whose ban runs out this coming weekend.
“I didn’t know any better because I just wanted to fit in and feel valued really. As simple as that.
“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.”
At the time, Bancroft had been forging a new Australian test-opening partnership with the more experienced Warner. But he made he clear he did not consider himself a victim.
“I had a choice and I made a massive mistake and that is what is in my control,” said Bancroft.
Last week Smith also opened up, admitting he failed as a captain by turning a blind eye to what went on.
Asked what happened in the changing rooms at Cape Town before Bancroft attempted to cheat, he said: “For me in the room, I walked past something and had the opportunity to stop it and I didn’t do it and that was my leadership failure.
“It was the potential for something to happen and it went on and happened out in the field,” he added.
“I had the opportunity to stop it at that point rather than say, ‘I don’t want to know anything about it’.
“And that was my failure of leadership. And, you know, I’ve taken responsibility for that.”
Smith made no mention of Warner, who has previously apologized and accepted responsibility for his part in the scandal.
Bancroft last week admitted he nearly walked away from the game to become a yoga teacher in the wake of the vitriol that met the tampering scandal.
He is expected to make his return for the Perth Scorchers in the Big Bash League on Sunday.