Perth: Cameron Bancroft, who executed the ball tampering during the third South Africa versus Australia Test, has broken his silence on the scandal, on Thursday, soon after his arrival in his homeland from Johannesburg, saying he is “ashamed” for his actions and he is “sorry” for what he has done.
While it is reported that David Warner, who like Steve Smith is banned for 12 months, was the instigator, it was Bancroft, banned for nine months by Cricket Australia, who volunteered to change the condition of the ball on Day 3 of the penultimate Test of the series.
“I have had time to reflect on the punishments and I want to say I'm very sorry. I love the game of cricket. I'm extremely disappointed and regret my actions. I'm a role model but have not acted like one in this instance,” said Bancroft during the press conference at WACA.
“Words don't mean much, so I will focus on my action. Not a second has gone by where I've thought about not doing it...it's something I will regret for the rest of my life,” he added.
While Bancroft, whose earlier claim of using yellow tape to tamper the ball, was a lie, as the Cricket Australia statement on Wednesday revealed that he used a sandpaper to change the condition of the ball.
“I lied about the sandpaper. I panicked in that situation and I'm very sorry. It was me who carried out the action of using the sandpaper. It's not good enough,” said Bancroft before admitting that it will be difficult to regain the respect.
“Through this whole experience, it's so obvious to see how important the game of cricket is to the Australian public. It's been a very big wake-up call for myself. I've let everyone down in Australia and I'm not proud of that. It will take time for that to heal. I want to play cricket again. Through the last few days, the thing that breaks my heart the most is I've given away my spot in the team for free,” Bancroft said.
“Everyone is disappointed about what we have done for the game. It is a great shock to everyone. We need to improve. I have never ever been involved in tampering of the ball. It completely compromises my values and what I stand for as a player and a person. It's not acceptable. I had the opportunity to take control of my own values and actions and I didn't. That's a real embarrassment for me. I'm sorry for what has entailed since then,” added the wicketkeeper-batsman.
Bancroft, meanwhile, refused to comment on the other cricketers, be it Warner or Smith, who were involved in the entire episode at Newlands.
“I am not here to comment on other players involved. I want to show how sorry I am. It's my actions and I was accountable for it. They don't reflect on my values. I'm really ashamed of it and so sorry for it,” Bancroft continued.
Bancroft stated that he did not play in the spirit of the game.
"It's so big because the action of doing it is completely wrong. For me to carry that out in front of world cricket and to be seen breaking the laws of the game...not playing in the spirit of the game, it's completely how cricket shouldn't be made," said Bancroft.