Cameron Bancroft became embroiled in a ball tampering scandal that would rock Australian cricket on this day four years ago.
The opening hitter was caught using sandpaper to alter the state of a ball during a test in South Africa, with TV footage showing the 27-year-old running his hand over the rough side of the ball as he lined up the covers before pulling a small yellow object out of his pocket and laying it on the front of his pants.
In the ensuing chaos, captain Steve Smith reluctantly admitted that Australia deliberately tampered with the ball after Bancroft was charged by match officials.
The incident was called by Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland a ‘sad day for Australian cricket’ and sparked widespread change in Australian cricket, with Tim Paine installed as national team skipper and Justin Langer replacing Darren Lehmann as head coach.
Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull called the incident a “shocking affront” to the country, adding: “This cheating is… it’s a shame. We all know that. It’s a terrible shame.”
Smith and vice-captain David Warner, who was later revealed to be the ringleader in the decision to use sandpaper on the ball, have been suspended for a year and banned from taking leadership positions within the team going forward, with Bancroft receiving a nine-month sentence. to forbid.
All three players gave tearful press conferences but only Smith and Warner made successful Test cricket returns with Bancroft having not played since 2019.