Australian bowlers have once again pleaded their innocence in the ball-tampering incident. This came after Cameron Bancroft's latest remarks stirred up the controversy last week. Australia's bowling department comprised of pacers Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood, Mitchell Starc, and off-spinner Nathan Lyon.
Following Bancroft's comments, several former Australian cricketers have questioned the integrity of the entire team that played the Test match in 2018. In their response, Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins, Nathan Lyon, and Josh Hazlewood issued a statement. They slammed journalists and retired cricketers for questioning their honesty.
Australian bowlers issued a joint statement claiming their innocence in the 2018 ball-tampering incident
The bowlers have always stated that they had no knowledge of Bancroft, Smith and Warner's plan to tamper the ball. However, after the incident, Cameron Bancroft was given a nine-month ban. On the other hand, Smith and David Warner were handed a 12-month ban for their roles in the Cape Town ball-tampering incident.
Cameron Bancroft was caught on camera using sandpaper to scruff up the match ball. The player later pleaded guilty to the offence and escaped with the most minor punishment. On the other hand, then-captain Steve Smith and his deputy David Warner had lost their leadership roles. They were also banned from all forms of the game for a year by Cricket Australia.
Bancroft, who was banished for 9 months recently, stirred up fresh controversy. He reckoned that the Australian bowlers were also aware that their players in the Newlands Test were deploying ball-tampering tactics. After Cameron Bancroft's interview, several cricketers like Michael Clarke and Adam Gilchrist accused Cricket Australia of thoroughly investigating the incident. Cummins, Hazlewood, Starc and Lyon, however, repeated their stance on the incident and requested everybody to move on from the incident.
CA's Executive General Manager of National Teams, Ben Oliver, has also confirmed that CA's integrity unit members had written to Cameron Bancroft. They had offered him the chance to provide them with any additional details relating to the 2018 incident that shook Australian cricket. However, the Australian board also clarified on Tuesday that Bancroft doesn't have any new evidence to support his claims.