Sandpaper Gate: ‘I am with Cameron Bancroft’ – Aakash Chopra

Cricketer-turned-commentator Aakash Chopra agreed with what Cameron Bancroft said that the Aussie bowlers were aware of the tampered condition of the ball during the 2018 Cape Town Test.

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Aakash Chopra and Cameron Bancroft
Aakash Chopra and Cameron Bancroft

The dark chapter of sandpaper gate has once again hit Australian cricket. This happened when Cameron Bancroft hinted that the bowlers were also aware of the ball-tampering in the 2018 Cape Town Test. However, the 28-year old did not say anything explicitly but reckoned that the things are ‘self-explanatory’.

Former India cricketer Aakash Chopra agreed with what Bancroft said in a recent interview with The Guardian. The 43-year old pointed out that the Kangaroo bowlers would have surely figured out the ball had been tampered while seeing its condition.

The cricketer-turned-commentator mentioned that the batsmen on the field might not be aware of the scenario but the bowlers must have known the ball’s condition. 

“Actually, I am with Cameron Bancroft. He has not said it, it is ‘self-explanatory’ that everyone knew it. At least, definitely, the bowlers knew for sure that when the ball came in the hand it had been scratched more and the wear and tear are not looking natural,” said Chopra.

“The fact is I refuse to believe that the rest of the players of the Australian team, especially the bowlers, it is possible an odd fringe player who is a batsman might not have known that sandpaper was being used, but if the bowlers don’t know that the ball is being tampered with and the condition is being changed, it means you are not telling the truth,” added Aakash Chopra.

‘Till now no home team player has been caught’: Chopra

The former opening batsman highlighted that no home team has been ever accused of ball-tampering till now. He added that this is because the broadcasters, the cameramen and the machinery is working in unison with them.

“Till now no home team player has been caught. Do the home team players not do anything? It is because the broadcasters, the cameramen and the machinery is working in unison with the hosts. You send a small message that it seems some extra work is happening on the ball,” said Chopra.

Soon after the scandal took place, then Australia captain Steve Smith and vice-captain David Warner were banned for one year each. On the other hand, Cameron Bancroft was barred from playing for nine months. The former two made their international comebacks in the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup while Bancroft returned during the 2019 Ashes.

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