Batsman Cameron Bancroft fell for just two in Sunday’s long-awaited return to competitive cricket.
Bancroft’s Cricket Australia-imposed ban ended this week for his involvement in the March ball-tampering saga that marred the Test series against South Africa.
The 26-year-old has since been added to the Perth Scorchers’ XI – and failed in a key Big Bash League clash against the Hobart Hurricanes at Aurora Stadium in Launceston.
The talented right-hander got off the mark with two through the leg-side off the bowling of seamer Riley Meredith, but was caught by wicketkeeper Matthew Wade two deliveries later.
‘Many people will judge you as a cheat, but that is okay,’ Bancroft reflected in a letter to himself published in the West Australian last week.
‘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.
‘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.’
Former captain Steven Smith and David Warner were also involved in the ball-tampering incident during the Newlands Test. Their suspensions will last three months longer than Bancroft’s – and will end prior to the 2019 World Cup. Both will then be eligible for selection for that limited-overs showpiece in the United Kingdom.