All three of us have really stuck by each other: Bancroft
who made a successful return to Shield cricket after serving his ban for his role in the ball-tampering scandal, dismissed a rift between him and David Warner and said that the banned trio have "stuck by each other" since the Cape Town episode.
Posted 9 months ago in Sport.
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Bancroft, who was handed a nine-month ban by Cricket Australia, scored an unbeaten 138, carrying his bat for Western Australia in the Shield game against New South Wales. Speaking to ABC ahead of his first-class return, the opener dismissed any rift with David Warner after a controversial interview with Adam Gilchrist on Fox Sports - which was aired during Australia's' Boxing Day Test against India - in which he had mentioned that Warner had suggested the use of the sandpaper to alter the condition of the ball during the Newlands Test.
"Yeah, I've spoken to Dave...I think all of us, including Dave, have been really challenged through this period of time. I know that all three of us have really stuck by each other and looked after each other well. I guess moving forward there will be great lessons for all of us, including Dave. That's something we've all shared with each other and something I've certainly shared with Dave when we've communicated throughout this entire journey," Bancroft said.
Bancroft's interview with Gilchrist was criticised by former players, including former captain Ricky Ponting who had bracketed his comments on Warner to throwing his teammate "under the bus". But the 26-year-old defended his interview, mentioning that it was done with an intention to share the "powerful lessons" he has learnt.
"I felt like I had some really important learnings which I really wanted to share with people, which was why I wrote my letter [to myself] and which was why I did that interview with Gilly," Bancroft said. "There were some really powerful lessons I learned through my journey that I wanted others to connect and to share with. But if I was able to touch people through some parts of my journey, and to help them I guess break through [in] their lives, that was my sole intention for that."
The bans on Steven Smith and Warner will end on March 29, with both players recovering from elbow injuries. While Warner is expected to feature in the IPL (which is scheduled to begin on March 23) after his ban ends, Smith's return could be further delayed as his injury is of a more serious nature, leaving him with limited game time ahead of the deadline for the World Cup squad announcement on April 23. Meanwhile, Bancroft, whose ban ended toward the end of December, is focusing on doing well in the ongoing first-class competition as well as county cricket to present his case for selection for the Ashes.
"As far as what is in my control is these four Shield games for Western Australia, I've committed to playing county cricket with Durham County Cricket Club in the winter as well, so as far as I'm concerned they are the things that I can control and look forward to and put my energy into," he said.
"I think I love the game far more authentically now. It's the enjoyment of you know, being there with your mates, it's the enjoyment of the little things like the feeling of the ball hitting the middle of your bat, the feeling the banter you have with your teammates, the feeling of actually helping your mates at training. I think those little things about the game, you know at times you get caught up in some unhealthy values that playing at the highest level can sometimes present - at the end of the day it's a game of cricket, and it's nice that that's why I play the game [now]," Bancroft said, making his point that he's not looking too far ahead.