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Cameron Bancroft admits to "a really poor mistake"

Bancroft admits to
© Reuters
The Australian is bracing himself for a hostile reception at county grounds when he appears for Durham.

Cameron Bancroft accepts he is powerless to change people’s perceptions of him but feels “living in the past is unhealthy for anybody” ahead of his county cricket bow for Durham.

Bancroft’s promising career was put on hold in March last year when he was given a nine-month suspension by Cricket Australia for attempting to manipulate the ball with sandpaper during a Test against South Africa in Cape Town.

The ramifications have been widespread, with Australia captain Steve Smith and his deputy David Warner handed year-long bans for their roles in the notorious ball-tampering scandal.

Bancroft is therefore braced for any hostile receptions he may face around county grounds in England this summer but is sanguine about the prospect.

Speaking ahead of his Durham debut against Sussex in the Specsavers County Championship on Thursday, Bancroft said: “I can’t change how people are going to react and how people are going to feel, that’s completely up to them.

“I respect that. As long as I’m just really enjoying and focused on what I can control, that’s all that matters.

“At some point you’ve got to move forward. That’s not saying you don’t honour and respect what’s happened in the past.

“But at some point you need to be able to take steps to move forward. Living in the past is unhealthy for anybody.”

There have been accusations in some quarters of the controversy being unresolved and that there are questions that still need answering despite a Cricket Australia investigation.

Bancroft, though, made it clear that while he has erred in the past, he is eager to look forward ahead of a county season in which he will captain Durham in the championship and the Royal London One-Day Cup.

He added: “We all make mistakes and I guess it’s how you’re able to grow as a person,  in admitting and being honest with yourself about those mistakes.

“I certainly have been and as a person that’s something that I’m completely accountable for and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

“I’ve had moments where I’ve been really flat and really down, you’re a in a grieving process.

Australia’s Cameron Bancroft during the Brisbane Test of the 2017-18 Ashes series.
Australia’s Cameron Bancroft during the Brisbane Test of the 2017-18 Ashes series (Jason O’Brien/PA Images).

“But once you take steps forward to achieving little milestones along the way, you start to come out the other end and that changes another day.

“That’s life: we’re down in the dumps at some points and then we’ve got to re-surge and find a way, and that just happens over and over again. I feel far more relaxed with things now.”

Bancroft, who missed Durham’s defeat at Derbyshire last week because of an obligation to attend an end-of-season dinner in his native Perth, says he has been up front over his past with his new team-mates.

He said: “Me being authentic to others is something that I’m really passionate about.

“Obviously I’ve only had a short period of getting to know my team-mates but in the time I have spoken, I’ve been really honest with who I am, with the past and respecting the past as well.”

Asked whether he had a message for Durham’s fans, he added: “I’m Cameron, I play cricket, I made a really poor mistake last year and I’m very sorry for that. I look forward to saying ‘G’day’, shaking your hand and signing all your stuff.”

The 26-year-old would relish the possibility of adding to his eight Test caps in a year in which Australia will defend the Ashes.

Bancroft, part of the side which helped defeat England in the 2017/18 series, added: “The aspiration to play Test cricket is certainly in my mind and where I’d love to be one day.

“(Playing for Australia) would mean a lot to me, definitely. Hopefully it will happen one day.”


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