He put himself in harm’s way in South Africa but Shaun Marsh expects Cameron Bancroft to lead English county side Durham strongly and ‘demand hard work’ as captain.
Durham raised eyebrows – both in English and Australian cricket circles – when they announced on Friday that Bancroft would captain the club in 2019.
The opener copped a nine-month ban from Cricket Australia (CA) for his role in the Cape Town cheating scandal, having illegally tampered with the ball at Newlands then attempted to hide the evidence by stuffing it down his pants.
The terms of CA’s suspension allowed Bancroft to play in England’s domestic competition but his contract with Somerset for 2018 was torn up.
Bancroft’s new team, which has Australian Marcus North serving as director of cricket, have much more faith in the 26-year-old.
Marsh, who has been Bancroft’s teammate at Western Australia throughout the batsman’s first-class career, felt the same.
“He’s a fantastic bloke. He’s obviously a really good leader in his own right and I’m sure he’ll do a really good job over there,” Marsh said in Sharjah.
“He’s a really good guy with a really good cricket brain. He’ll demand a lot of hard work … he’ll tackle it with both hands, that’s what Bangers is about.”
Marsh suggested Bancroft would also excel as captain of Western Australia should the situation ever arise when Mitch Marsh and Ashton Turner are both unavailable.
Marsh, who was on deck at Newlands, described Bancroft’s development over the past year as “fantastic”.
“It’s great to see him back playing and doing well. He’s a terrific young man and he’s back doing what he loves doing,” Marsh said.
Bancroft returned from suspension during the Big Bash League in December.
The 26-year-old scored a century last month during his first Sheffield Shield game after the ban, facing a total of 621 deliveries in that match while starting to build a case for an Ashes call-up.
Bancroft’s county form will ultimately determine whether he is given a chance to face England in the five-Test series that begins on August 1.
National coach Justin Langer, speaking after Bancroft’s productive Shield return last month, praised the opener and noted he was “really proud”.