Sandpapergate: Australian bowlers respond to “Bowlers were involved in ball-tampering” allegation

Updated on: May 18, 2021 4:51 pm IST

Sandpapergate Australian bowlers

Australian bowlers respond to Sandpapergate allegations: One of the biggest controversies in the history of cricket, Sandpapergate scandal, got reopened after Cameron Bancroft’s recent statement saying “pretty self explanatory” when asked if the Australian bowlers were aware of him tampering the ball during the Cape Town Test match against South Africa in 2018. The old bitter wounds have surely triggered up by Bancroft’s recent interview and a lot is being said in the media by former cricketers on the infamous incident.

After former Australian captain Steve Smith accepting that the leadership group had complete knowledge of the ball-tampering incident, Cricket Australia (CA) took a big call and slapped the duo of Smith and David Warner with 12 months bans each while Bancroft served a 9-months ban period. However, things have moved on really well for the Australian trio as well as the entire national team since that incident. But the Aussie bowling attack comprising of Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Jos Hazlewood and Nathan Lyon have been under the scanner and on the hitting lines of the media after Bancroft indirectly noted that they actually had prior knowledge of all the happenings during the Newlands Test match.

Sandpapergate: Australian bowlers official statement

In a massive development, the likes of Starc, Cummins, Hazlewood and Nathan Lyon have released a joint statement while addressing to the Australian public. The official statement clearly reads that none of the Australian bowlers had any idea of any foreign substance being used to tamper the condition of the ball during the Newlands Test against South Africa in 2018. The Aussie bowlers also noted that they are very much disappointed with their integrity being questioned by journalists and former players. The bowling quartet in the end requested the fans to put an end to whole infamous incident by moving on.


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Here’s the official statement 

To The Australian Public

We pride ourselves on our honesty. So it’s been disappointing to see that our integrity has been questioned by some journalists and past players in recent days in regard to the Cape Town Test of 2018.

We have already answered questions many times on this issue, but we feel compelled to put the key facts on the record again:

  • We did not know a foreign substance was taken onto the field to alter the condition of the ball until we saw the images on the big screen at Newlands
  • And to those who, despite the absence of evidence, insist that ‘we must have known’ about the use of a foreign substance simply because we are bowlers, we say this: The umpires during that Test match, Nigel Llong and Richard Illingworth, both very respected and experienced umpires, inspected the ball after the images surfaced on the TV coverage and did not change it because there was no sign of damage.

None of this excuses what happened on the field that day at Newlands. It was wrong and it should never have happened.

We’ve all learned valuable lessons and we’d like to think the public can see a change for the better in terms of the way we play, the way we behave and respect the game. Our commitment to improving as people and players will continue.

We respectfully request an end to the rumour-mongering and innuendo.

It has gone on too long and it is time to move on.


Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood, Mitch Starc, Nathan Lyon

Related: Jos Buttler names two Indian legends who inspired him 

Also, in the contrary, on being asked by CA about the developments on the incident, Cameron Bancroft has replied to the board stating that he doesn’t have any new information and is satisfied with the entire investigation process held in the past.

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