'We are aware': Ashes villain lashes Aussies over sandpaper saga

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·Sports Reporter
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Stuart Broad (pictured left) looking at David Warner (pictured right) during the Ashes.
Stuart Broad (pictured left) has sent a warning to the Australians ahead of this year's Ashes series after the Cape Town 'sandpaper' saga has been dragged back into the headlines. (Getty Images)

England veteran Stuart Broad has sent a warning to the Aussies ahead of the up-coming Ashes Series after the 'sandpaper' saga was dragged back into the headlines after Cameron Bancroft's latest admission.

On the weekend, Aussie cricketer Bancroft has made the stunning accusation bowlers in the team could have been aware of the infamous 'ball-tampering' saga in South Africa back in 2018.

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Bancroft was caught 'ball-tampering' by the TV umpire in the third Test in Cape Town in 2018 and Cricket Australian banned the opener from international and most domestic cricket for nine-months.

Then-captain Steve Smith and David Warner were also banned for a period of time for their role in the incident.

But last week, Bancroft sat down with The Guardian for an interview and was honest and accepted his role in the 'ball-tampering' incident.

But he also alleged there could have been "awareness" around what was happening.

On Tuesday, David Warner's manager hit out at Cricket Australia (CA) and said the 'truth will come out' at some point.

Now, England bowler Broad has hit out at the Aussies and claimed bowlers are acutely aware of the condition of the ball and warned his rivals ahead of the up-coming Ashes series.

"I've obviously never bowled within the Australian bowling attack but I can talk about how, in an England Test team, if I miss the seam by four millimetres, Jimmy Anderson is on me," Broad told ESPN CricInfo.

"He'll be saying 'why has this ball got a mark on it here? It's because you've missed the seam! Start hitting the seam, will you'."

Broad said everyone in the team is expected to "buy in" to the tactic of making the ball swing, or it wouldn't work.

He also claimed the Australians would have hoped this issue was buried, but doubted it would continue all the way up until the Ashes.

"There's no doubt the Aussies would have been hoping this episode was signed sealed and delivered.I can't see it still being a conversation [when the Ashes start] in November, December, but I can see it being sung in the Barmy Army stands if they're allowed," he said.

Michael Clarke takes aim at Aussies

Broad's comments echoed those of former Australian captain Michael Clarke.

Clarke took aim at the bowlers over the incident.

“They’ve got to hold the ball to bowl with it,” Clarke said on Sky Sports Big Breakfast.

“So, if there’s sandpaper being rubbed on the ball they have to get the ball back to the bowler and the bowler has to hang on to it before he lets it go.

“I can tell you now if you went and grabbed a pen, just a pen and put a little ‘1’ somewhere on my cricket bat; on top of the handle, on the edge of the bat, on the toe of the bat, on the face, under the grip, anywhere, just a little number one I would have noticed.

“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.”

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