Australian batsman Cameron Bancroft has all but come to terms with being labelled a ‘cheat’, as a return to competitive cricket beckons.
Bancroft is nearing the end of a ban for his involvement in the ball-tampering saga that marred Australia’s Test tour of South Africa earlier this year. He is eligible to play for the Perth Scorchers in the Big Bash League before the end of December.
‘Many people will judge you as a cheat, but that is okay,’ Bancroft reflected in a letter to himself published in the West Australian on Saturday.
‘Always love and respect everyone. You will love those people because you forgive them. Just like you’re going to forgive yourself.
‘You know you cannot say sorry enough, but actually it is time you allow your cricket to be about what you have learnt and use this opportunity to make a great impact.’
The 26-year-old dedicated plenty of time to the practice of yoga during his suspension – and represented Willetton District Cricket Club in amateur competition.
‘Until you are able to acknowledge that you are Cameron Bancroft, the person who plays cricket as a profession, and not Cameron Bancroft the cricketer, you will not be able to move forward. This will become a defining moment for you,’ he added.
‘New friends will be made, great people with similar interests. Maybe cricket isn’t for you, you’ll ask yourself… will you return? Yoga will be such a fulfilling experience. It’s hard to feel this reality could exist.
‘You meet people fighting battles greater than you can understand, but through your own hardship and journey you can inspire others in the form of yoga. This will be tough to understand now, but have faith and embrace uncertainty.
‘The first game will give you the answer about what the game of cricket means to you. It is simply just fun. You wear a blue cap, it won’t be a Baggy Green, but the enjoyment is the same. You love the game. That’s the heart of all passion. Cricket is still well and truly a part of who you are.’
Former captain Steven Smith and vice-captain David Warner were also involved in the ball-tampering incident – and are serving longer bans than Bancroft. Smith and Warner will be available for selection prior to next year’s World Cup.