George Bailey's telling Cameron Bancroft admission amid brutal Test snub

The chief selector moved to slam claims surrounding Cameron Bancroft.

Steve Smith in training and Cameron Bancroft walks off the field.
George Bailey has quelled claims Cameron Bancroft (pictured right) is on the outer of the Test team after Steve Smith pictured left) was confirmed as the opener. (Getty Images)

Chief selector George Bailey has moved to quell any claims Cameron Bancroft wasn't selected in the Test squad to play the West Indies because he is on the outer of the current playing group. Aussie selectors stunned cricket fans on Wednesday when Bancroft was once again snubbed from the squad in the wake of David Warner's retirement from the Test arena.

Many, including Ricky Ponting, thought Bancroft was the replacement for Warner at the top of the order. However, selectors opted to go for the surprise move and move Steve Smith up the order to accomodate Cameron Green at No.4.

CLASSIC: Glenn Maxwell's epic response after Aussie great's golf cart sledge

'WELL PLAYED': Carey's funny new swipe over Jonny Bairstow Ashes drama

Matt Renshaw moved into the squad, most likely due to his ability to bat up and down the order. However, fans were left stunned at the move with Smith only emerging as a serious contender to the public in recent days.

The fact the opener was snubbed from the squad altogether has fuelled suggestions there is a reluctance to pick Bancroft despite the fact he's been the leading batter in the last two Sheffield Shield seasons. Some have suggested that Bancroft's role in the ball-tampering scandal of 2018 - and his subsequent comments about the Aussie bowling quarter - might be a factor weighing against him.

However, Bailey addressed the reports and emphatically shut down any claim Bancroft was not being selected because he was on the outer. “Categorically no (issue between players and Bancroft). And I’ve shared this with Cameron on a number of occasions,” Bailey said of the reports.

“It’s never been discussed, from the panel’s perspective, it’s purely a cricketing decision.” Bailey added: “There’s not a member of the team who would have an issue with Cam playing. We certainly don’t have an issue with it.

“I think a lot of people forget the fact that Cam’s actually played Test cricket since returning from the ban. It was a long time ago. We’ve all moved well past that. I’d be disappointed if people were looking to that as a reason… that’s not the case. Never has been and never will be.”

George Bailey reacts.
Australia chief selector George Bailey (pictured) has slammed reported Cameron Bancroft is on the outer of the Test team. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

Cameron Bancroft opens up in interview

Recently, Bancroft said he is confident his relationship with the team is fine, despite appearing to throw bowlers Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Nathan Lyon under the bus in relation to their knowledge of the tampering at the time. While Bancroft, Warner and then-captain Smith were the only players punished for their involvement, Bancroft implied that the bowling quartet knew what was going on.

"Obviously what I did benefits bowlers and the awareness around that, probably, is self-explanatory," he said in an interview in 2021. When pressed on the matter he said: "I think it's pretty probably self-explanatory".

Sign up to our newsletter and score the biggest sport stories of the week.