Remorseful Bancroft admits to lying about sandpaper use

Having initially said he used yellow tape to tamper with the ball, Cameron Bancroft confessed it was a lie and that he used sandpaper.

Australia's Cameron Bancroft   -  Getty Images

An apologetic Cameron Bancroft has admitted to lying about what he used to try to alter the condition of the ball in the third Test between Australia and South Africa, stating he "panicked" in the situation.

Bancroft claimed to have used yellow tape to tamper with the ball, but findings of a Cricket Australia (CA) investigation disclosed on Wednesday alleged he used sandpaper, which the opening batsman admitted to 24 hours later.

The 25-year-old was handed a nine-month ban from international and domestic cricket by CA, while captain Steve Smith and vice-captain David Warner were each suspended for 12 months. Warner was deemed to have developed the plan and given Bancroft instructions to carry it out, while Smith was punished for having knowledge of it and failing to report it.

Asked about his original comments, Bancroft told a media conference in Perth: "Yes, I lied about the sandpaper. I panicked in that situation and I am very sorry.

"I feel like I've let everyone down in Australia and I'm not proud of that. It will take time for that to heal and earn the respect back.

"Sitting in my own company the last few days, the thing that breaks my heart is I've just given up my spot in the team to somebody else. People know I've worked hard to get to this point in my career. It is devastating to me.

"The moment I step outside this room is the moment I take steps towards getting back that dream."

He added: "It is something I will regret for the rest of my life. All I can do in the short term is ask for forgiveness. I will do my best to contribute to the community.

"For me to carry that out in front of the world of cricket and to be seen breaking the laws of the game…not playing within the spirit of the game is not how it should be played.

"It was me that carried out the action of using the sandpaper and it's not good enough. It's embarrassing and I'm sorry.

"I had the opportunity to take control of my own values and actions and I didn't. That's a real embarrassment for me. I'm sorry for what's happened since then and it's a responsibility I take on myself."

All three players are entitled to appeal against the sanctions. On whether he would do so, Bancroft said: "I respect the process that's going to come and I will work with my manager and we'll move forward with that."

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