Bancroft: Warner asked me to tamper with the ball

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Cameron Bancroft confirmed, for the first time, that vice-captain David Warner asked him to alter the ball during the scandal in South Africa and said he went along with it “to fit in”.

The 26-year-old Bancroft was caught on television footage using sandpaper to try to rough up the ball in a Test at Newlands in March, subsequently receiving a nine-month ban from international and domestic cricket for his part in an incident.

Warner and then captain Steve Smith were bith suspended for a year after all three were found to be involved in the saga after an investigation.

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At the time of the incident, Bancroft was playing in just his eighth Test and had been forging a new Test opening partnership with the more experienced Warner.

However, the Western Australian made it clear he did not consider himself a victim.

Bancroft told Fox Sports: “Dave suggested to me to carry the action out on the ball given the situation we were in the game and I didn’t know any better.

“I didn’t know any better because I just wanted to fit in and feel valued really. As simple as that.

“The decision was based around my values, what I valued at the time, and I valued fitting in … you hope that fitting in earns you respect and with that, I guess, there came a pretty big cost for the mistake.

“I had a choice and I made a massive mistake and that is what is in my control,” said Bancroft, who admitted he often pondered what would have happened if he had said no, and concluded it was a no-win situation.

“I would have gone to bed and I would have felt like I had let everybody down. I would have felt like I had let the team down. I would have left like I had hurt our chances to win the game of cricket.”

Bancroft is expected to make his return for the Perth Scorchers in the Big Bash League on Sunday, with Smith and Warner available from late March in 2019.