Newly appointed Australia head coach Justin Langer says he would have tampered with the ball if his captain had asked him to.
The 47-year-old and former top-order batsman, who made his Test debut against West Indies in Adelaide in 1993, said the difference between the incidents was that he would never have been asked to do so by his then captain Allan Border and coach Bob Simpson.
‘If Allan Border had asked me to tamper with the ball I would have,’ Langer told Channel Nine Australia.
‘I would have because I would be too scared not to. The difference is Allan Border would never have asked me and Bobby Simpson would have killed me.
‘He would have killed anyone who brought the game into disrepute. What I cannot believe is that Cameron Bancroft walked into the Australian cricket team and he was in a position where he made that decision.’
Bancroft was handed a nine-month ban for using sandpaper to tamper with the ball during the third Test against South Africa at Newlands. According to his captain, Steven Smith, a leadership group was involved in the decision that made the 25-year-old commit the act.
As a result, Smith and vice-captain David Warner were banned for a year and stripped of their leadership positions.
Langer said that it’s the whole team’s responsibility to ensure the standards of behaviour are upheld.
‘I walked into this Australian cricket changing room with Allan Border, Steve Waugh, David Boon and Ian Healy and Bobby Simpson leading it,’ he recalled.
‘You could not help but become a better person and a better cricketer, because that was a serious changing room.
‘If we can keep mentoring them and helping them, and they want to keep getting better and meet the standards of the Australian cricket team, then of course they will be welcomed back,’ he said.
Photo: EPA/LUIS ASCUI AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND OUT