Ball tampering scandal threatens Bancroft
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.
— Tomás Rooney Murphy (@T_Roo_Mur) March 24, 2018
— Ammer Butters (@AmmerMirza) March 24, 2018
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.
England news: Injury-hit Jofra Archer back for first time in nearly a year
Archer is still some way off a return after heading to his native Barbados following a second operation on a longstanding elbow complaint last month.
South Africa vs India: Quinton de Kock will be welcomed ‘with open arms’
Quinton de Kock will be welcomed with open arms in the South Africa squad to face India in a limited-overs series.
Nat Sciver: England ‘a bit more calm’ now after ‘tricky’ start to Australia tour
The multi-format Women’s Ashes series is set to get under way on Thursday with the first of three T20 internationals.
David Payne feels England T20 call-up provides opportunity to realise Test dream
The tall left-armer is still awaiting his first international cap and turns 31 next month.
Here’s who should be in the England XI for the first Ashes Test of 2023
Following the latest Ashes humiliation, Matt Whiley selects an England Test team that we can finally be proud of.
Australia tour to Pakistan: Pace attack could be boosted
Australia are likely to include a raft of pace bowlers in their squad for the scheduled tour to Pakistan in March.
South Africa vs India: Keegan Petersen still coming to terms with stardom
New South Africa batting star Keegan Petersen has not quite gotten his head around his newfound fame.
Ashes reaction: Kevin Pietersen backs Joe Root and coach Chris Silverwood
Former England captain Kevin Pietersen has backed current captain Joe Root and coach Chris Silverwood to remain in charge of the team.
England Test team: ECB investigating after police called to Ashes drinks following Hobart Test
Players and staff from both the Australian and English teams were at the event.
Rassie van der Dussen relished India banter in tough Test series
The series between South Africa and India rode on a knife-edge.