Cameron Bancroft at centre of 'ridiculous' new controversy

English side Durham have blown up over a Cricket Australia and WACA decision to delay Cameron Bancroft’s flight to England for the county season.

Bancroft signed with the club last August, when he was still serving his ball-tampering ban, in a further attempt to rebuild his career.

But the 26-year-old is now expected to miss the opening game of the County Championship on April 5 – because of an awards night.

CA and the WACA informed Bancroft he must remain in Perth for Western Australia’s end-of-season dinner event.

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The demand is a blow to the batsman’s Ashes hopes, having impressed with scores of 136 not out, 86 and 52 since the Sheffield Shield resumed two weeks ago.

But it has also left Durham seething.

“He was persona non grata when we signed him in July,” chief executive Tim Bostock said, as reported by the Telegraph.

“We took a chance on him and Western Australia and Cricket Australia should recognise that fact. He recognises it and has pushed strongly to get here on time.

Cameron Bancroft is in the middle of a fiery tug-of-war between Durham and Australian cricket officials. Pic: Getty

“We only play two Championship matches before breaking off for a block of 50-over games.

“Missing one match does not sound like a big deal but those two games are huge for us as we try and start the season well and look for promotion.

“I can understand players missing games for international duty but to miss a game because of an awards dinner is ridiculous.”

The Telegraph reports Bancroft told Durham he would attempt to catch the earliest possible flight to England on the night of the dinner.

Bancroft could yet make his case for an Ashes call-up in an Australia A tour of England that will take place during the Cricket World Cup.