'Self-explanatory': Cameron Bancroft's damning 'sandpaper' saga admission

Cameron Bancroft (pictured left) and Steve Smith (pictured right) looking dejected facing the media.
Cameron Bancroft (pictured left) and Steve Smith (pictured right) were banned from international cricket for a period of time over the sandpaper incident in Cape Town. (Getty Images)

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

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.

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Steve Smith was banned for two years and stripped of his captaincy, having the incident occurred under his leadership.

He was banned from a leadership role for two years.

David Warner also received a two-year ban and stripped of a leadership role for life in one of the darkest days in Australia sport.

But years later, with the incident rarely discussed in interviews, Bancroft has alleged there could have been "awareness" elsewhere in the team over the sandpaper incident.

Bancroft sat down with The Guardian for an interview and was honest and accepted his role in the sandpaper saga.

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

"Yeah, obviously what I did benefits bowlers and the awareness around that, probably, is self-explanatory. I guess one thing I learnt through the journey and being responsible is that’s where the buck stops [with him]," he told The Guardian.

But when pressed on the incident, the publication claimed the 28-year-old paused.

“Uh … yeah, look, I think, yeah, I think it’s pretty probably self-explanatory,” Bancroft claimed, according to the publication.

Smith owns up to leadership mistake

No players in the Australian team have been implicated in the saga, apart from the three that were banned.

Smith admitted to being aware something was going on, but didn't want to know about it.

"I walked past something and had the opportunity to stop it, and I didn't do it," Smith said in a press conference when he arrived back in Australia in 2018.

"That was my leadership failure. It was the potential for something to happen and it went on and happened out in the field and I had the opportunity to stop it at that point."

An investigation into the incident concluded only Smith, Warner and Bancroft were involved in the ball-tampering saga.

Warner was seen as the orchestrator of the incident and advised Bancroft to use sandpaper on the ball.

Since the incident, there have been renewed talks of Smith returning as captain at the end of Tim Paine's tenure.

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