Ball tampering scandal threatens Bancroft

Test cricket

Cameron Bancroft has come under scrutiny after footage emerged that appeared showed him concealing a small yellow square in his pockets and undergarments.

Some commentators on social media have claimed that the small square could be a strip of sandpaper* but at this point that is pure conjecture.

The images sent out on Supersport and SABC 3 have shown both the suspicious square and Bancroft shining the ball.

In the shining action Bancroft appears to rub the rough side of the ball with his hand before shining the other side on the leg of his trousers, he then appears to put something back into his pocket.

When questioned by the umpires Bancroft produced a cloth used to clean sunglasses which did not appear to match what was seen in the video clips.

During South Africa’s last tour to Australia ball tampering charges were levelled at Proteas skipper Faf du Plessis which sparked an ugly media circus ahead of the third Test, including the now infamous airport incident when a reporter was forcibly removed from the path of the skipper as the team traveled.

Du Plessis was found guilty of ball tampering after applying saliva to the ball while he was sucking on a mint.

Roughing up the ball aids the action of what is known as reverse swing, something that has been plentiful in this series so far.

The ICC have yet to comment on the issue but can only really respond once the match officials have had their post-play meeting and made a report.

*Edit: Cameron Bancroft and skipper Steve Smith have since admitted that they attempted to tamper with the ball using a strip of yellow tape to gather rough sand to scratch up the ball. We expect a penalty to be handed down within the next 24 hours.

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