'Truth will come out': Explosive new claims made in ball-tampering saga

·4-min read
Pictured here, an emotional David Warner arrives home after the ball-tampering scandal.
David Warner's manager suggests that the public hasn't heard the truth about the ball-tampering scandal. Pic: Getty

David Warner's manager has labelled the investigation into the infamous ball-tampering scandal a "joke" and insists the truth of the whole ugly saga will eventually be told.

On Saturday, Bancroft reignited discussions about the sandpaper scandal by claiming the knowledge the Aussie bowlers had of the plot was "self-explanatory".

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Bancroft was handed a nine-month suspension by Cricket Australia for his role in the incident, while skipper Steve Smith and vice-captain David Warner were stripped of their leadership titles and given year-long bans.

But a former review conducted by Cricket Australia at the time cleared everybody else in the touring party of any wrongdoing or knowledge of the illegal plot.

Bancroft has since thrown that assumption into question, with former captain Michael Clarke also suggesting that it was highly unlikely the Aussie bowlers didn't realise the ball they were using had been tampered with.

Seen here, Cameron Bancroft is in discussions with umpires during a Test match for Australia.
Cameron Bancroft talks to the umpires after being caught using sandpaper on the ball. (Photo by Peter Heeger/Gallo Images/Getty Images)

In another intriguing twist to a dark chapter of Australian cricket that simply won't go away, Warner's manager James Erskine said the three suspended players were "treated despicably" by Cricket Australia and suggested that the entire truth of the saga had yet to be heard.

“The report that was done, they didn’t interview all the players. The whole thing was so badly handled, it was a joke," Erskine told the Sydney Morning Herald.

“But eventually the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, will come out and I know the whole truth. But it doesn’t serve any purpose because the Australian public over a period of time got to dislike the Australian team because they didn’t behave particularly well.

“There is absolutely no doubt that Smith, Warner and Bancroft were treated despicably. The fact of the matter is they did the wrong thing but the punishment didn’t fit the crime. I think if one or two of those players had taken legal action they would have won because of what the truth was.”

Erskine's comments come after Bancroft suggested that Australia's bowling quartet at the time - Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood, Mitchell Starc and Nathan Lyon - were aware of what was being done to the ball.

"All I wanted to do was to be responsible and accountable for my own actions and part," Bancroft told the Guardian.

"Obviously what I did benefits bowlers and the awareness around that, probably, is self-explanatory."

The former Test opener, asked to clarify whether some of Australia's bowlers knew, replied: "Yeah, look, I think, yeah, I think it's pretty probably self-explanatory".

Former skipper echoes Bancroft's suggestion

On Monday, former Aussie Test captain Clarke backed up that assumption about the bowlers.

“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.

On the right, former Australia captain Michael Clarke and the bowling quartet for the Test side on the left.
Michael Clarke has echoed Cameron Bancroft's suggestion the bowlers knew about the ball-tampering plot. Image: Getty

“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.”

Former Test bowling coach David Saker refuted such suggestions and said it didn't do anyone any good to point fingers now.

“Obviously a lot of things went wrong at that time. The finger-pointing is going to go on and on and on,” he told the Sydney Morning Herald.

“There was a lot of people to blame. It could have been me to blame, it could have been someone else. It could have been stopped and it wasn’t, which is unfortunate.

“Cameron’s a very nice guy. He’s just doing it to get something off his chest ... He’s not going to be the last.

“The disappointing thing is it’s never going to go away. Regardless of what’s said.

"We all know that we made a monumental mistake. The gravity wasn’t as plain until it all came out.”

with agencies

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