Cameron Bancroft failed on his return to professional cricket scoring one off three balls for the Desert Blaze in the NT Strike League in Darwin.
The former Australia opener, who is serving a nine-month international ban for his involvement in the ball-tampering saga at Newlands in March, spoke to media after his return.
‘To get back into some cricket is really exciting,’ Bancroft said after the match. ‘Obviously, not an ideal start but the team won, it’s not all about you sometimes. I’ll keep enjoying every moment here.
‘Cricket is a component and part of my life. I know that for the last couple of months cricket has not necessarily been the No 1 priority in my life.
‘But my life is still pretty good and there are lots of great things about it.
‘I think what’s been the beautiful thing about the last few months is [that] you certainly learn to appreciate and be grateful for what you do have.
‘I had cricket taken away from me there for a little while but I’ve got a lot of great friends and support.’
Bancroft admitted he had to find a way to move past being caught by SuperSport cameras using sandpaper to tamper with the ball.
‘Right now I’m feeling really good,’ Bancroft said. ‘The last couple of months have been a bit of a rollercoaster. You certainly ride the waves of grieving.
‘There have been times where I’ve felt really sad, there have been times where I’ve felt really angry.
‘But overall, I’ve worked really hard on myself, been really busy with a lot of things and right now it’s just another step forward, heading up to Darwin to play some cricket and I’m really looking forward to it.’
He continued: ‘I can’t change what happened in South Africa and that’s something I’m completely accountable for.
‘Everything since South Africa has been steps closer to one day getting back and playing cricket for Australia again.’
Steve Smith and David Warner were handed year-long suspensions by Cricket Australia and also made their return to professional cricket this past weekend but in the Canada T20 league.
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Photo: Mark Kolbe/Getty Images