March 24, 2018 is one particular date that Australia cricket would like to wipe off their memories. It was on this day the Aussies were caught red-handed in the Newland Test in South Africa in what is considered as of of cricket's biggest scams. The ‘Sandpaper Gate', had Australia's captain and vice-captain, Steve Smith and David Warner, as well as an upcoming talent Cameron Bancroft engage in an uncalled activity of tampering the ball.
As per the footage, it was Cameron Bancroft who was given the task of rubbing the ball with sandpaper in order to generate more reverse swing for the faster bowlers. After being found out, Bancroft was spotted shoving the sandpaper down his trousers. Former South Africa bowler Fanie de Villiers , who was one of the commentators admitted to have a word with the camera crew as he had suspicions.
“We actually said to our cameramen: ‘Go out. Have a look, boys. They are using something.’
After the end of day's play Cameron Bancroft confessed in the press conference about his immoral conduct in the field.
“some yellow tape and granules from the rough patches of the wicket” to try and doctor the ball. But a statement from Cricket Australia later contradicted the explanation, who said the player had attempted to “artificially alter the condition of the ball using sandpaper”
“I lied about the sandpaper. I panicked and I’m very sorry,” a contrite Bancroft admitted.
Steve Smith later confessed that it was the “leadership group” who were aware of the idea and were by no means proud of it. However, with pressure mounting and even the Australian Prime Minister labeling it as dark day, Steve Smith and David Warner were suspended for a year, while. Bancroft was on the sidelines for nine months.
It is said that it was David Warner who constructed the plan with Steve Smith being completely aware of it.
“I take full responsibility, I made a serious error of judgement and I understand the consequences,”
“I know I will regret this for the rest of my life. Cricket is my life and I hope it can be again. I’m sorry. I’m absolutely devastated.”
However, both, Steve Smith and David Warner are well and truly back into the mix and remain two of the most important players in the Australian team.
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