Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood, Mitchell Starc and Nathan Lyon have released a joint statement after the 2018 ball tampering scandal came back in the spotlight this week.
The bowling quartet responded to Cam Bancroft’s latest interview where he suggested that the bowlers were aware he had sandpaper in his pocket and was using it on the ball.
“Yeah, obviously what I did benefits bowlers and the awareness around that, probably, is self-explanatory … had I had better awareness I would have made a much better decision.,” he told The Guardian.
Bancroft has reportedly backtracked on those comments and told Cricket Australia he has no fresh information that he didn’t report at the time of the ball-tampering scandal.
FULL STATEMENT FROM AUSTRALA’S BOWLERS INVOLVED IN THE 2018 CAPE TOWN TEST
“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.”