The independent voice of cricket


Former Australia captains accuse Cricket Australia of sandpapergate cover-up

by Rohit Sankar 3 minute read

Three years since the Sandpapergate saga, feathers were ruffled again after Cameron Bancroft suggested that Australian bowlers were in the know about the tampering on that fateful day in Johannesburg in 2018.

Cricket Australia have reached out to Bancroft after his interview with The Guardian after he provided new information on the ball tampering incident from 2018. Bancroft hinted that the Aussie bowlers in the Johannesburg Test were in the know about the tampering incident although records from 2018 show the bowlers vehemently denying anything of the sort.

CA’s integrity unit is hoping to extract more information out of Bancroft according to Ben Oliver, Cricket Australia’s head of national teams, as revealed in a report on ESPNCricinfo.

Meanwhile former Australia captains aren’t buying into the fact that only three of them knew of the plan to tamper with the ball.

“If you’d played the game of cricket, you would know more than three people know what was going on in there,” former Aussie skipper Michael Clarke told Sky Sports’ Big Sports Breakfast show. “The problem Cricket Australia has is the fact they’ve tried to sweep it under the carpet and not come out and tell the full story.”

“They’ve got to hold the ball to bowl with it,” he said. “I can tell you now if you went and grabbed a pen, just a pen and put a little ‘1’ somewhere on my cricket bat; on top of the handle, on the edge of the bat, on the toe of the bat, on the face, under the grip, anywhere, just a little number one, I would have noticed. If you are playing sport at the highest level you know your tools that good it’s not funny.

“Can you imagine that ball being thrown back to the bowler and the bowler not knowing about it? Please.”

Adam Gilchrist echoed Clarke’s sentiments and blamed CA for the fiasco, saying that it might not be long before “names are named”.

“There was an opportunity for CA if they were going to make such a strong statement they needed to do a more thorough investigation to work out where the root of the problem was,” Gilchrist said on SEN’s Gilly and Goss show.

“Anyone would be naive to think people were not aware with what was going on about ball maintenance. I don’t think Cricket Australia wanted to go there. They did not want to go any deeper than that superficial example of ball tampering.

“They did not investigate to see whether it was systemic, had it been going on and on and on. Around the cricketing globe it was widely accepted a lot of teams were doing it.’

“Eventually I think names will be named. I think there are some people who have it stored away and are ready to pull the trigger when the time is right.

“I think Cricket Australia are responsible for why this will be continually asked. When they did their investigation at the time they had Patty Howard the high-performance general manager, Iain Roy was the integrity officer.

“They went there and did this very quick review of that isolated incident and perhaps no one in the team knew. Perhaps Cam did grab the sandpaper on his own accord and walked out there and did not tell anyone.”

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