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Cricket Australia ready to re-investigate Sandpaper Gate

Bengaluru, May 15: With former Australian opener Cameron Cancroft hinting that there had to be wider knowledge about ball-tampering incident in 2018, Cricket Australia (CA) said it is open to reinvestigating the Sandpaper Gate.

The incident dates back to March 2018, when Bancroft was caught on camera trying to change the condition of the ball using sandpaper in a Test match against South Africa in Cape Town.

The incident later went on to be labelled as the Sandpaper Gate and is considered as one of the darkest moments in the history of Australian cricket.

The 28-year-old, who is playing county cricket in Durham, said it was 'probably self-explanatory' whether the bowlers were aware that the ball was being tampered with.

"Yeah, look, all I wanted to do was to be responsible and accountable for my own actions and part. Yeah, obviously what I did benefits bowlers and the awareness around that, probably, is self-explanatory," Bancroft said to the Guardian interviewer Donald McRae as reported by ESPNcricinfo.

In a quick response to Bancroft's statement, CA said they are willing to re-open the case if required.

"CA has maintained all along that if anyone is in possession of new information in regards to the Cape Town Test of 2018, they should come forward and present it. The investigation conducted at the time was detailed and comprehensive. Since then, no one has presented new information to CA that casts doubt on the investigation's findings," ESPNcricinfo quoted CA spokesperson as saying.

On the third day of the match, Bancroft was caught on camera trying to alter the condition of the ball. As soon as the clip was shown on television, it went viral on social media and the entire cricketing fraternity condemned the act.

After the conclusion of the day's play, Bancroft and then Australia skipper Steve Smith admitted that they did tamper with the ball.

David Warner's involvement in the act was also confirmed. Australia went on to lose the match and Cricket Australia took some bold calls as they first removed Smith and Warner as the captain and vice-captain of the side.

Later, CA handed a one-year ban to both Smith and Warner, while Bancroft was given a nine-month suspension. Australia coach Darren Lehmann also resigned after the episode.

(With inputs from Agencies)

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Story first published: Saturday, May 15, 2021, 20:41 [IST]
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