We’re harmless, say Sandpapergate bowlers


New Delhi, May 18

Australian bowlers Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood and Nathan Lyon have released a joint statement explaining their stand on the recent resurfacing of the 2018 ball-tampering controversy.

Australia opener Cameron Bancroft had suggested in an interview last week that the bowlers knew about the plan to alter the condition of the ball on Day 3 of the third Test against South Africa in Cape Town in 2018. However, Bancroft today backtracked on his comments while the bowlers pleaded for an end to “rumour-mongering and Innuendo” surrounding the incident.

Bancroft kicked up a storm recently when he stated that it was “pretty self explanatory” when asked whether the bowlers in the team knew of the plan to use sandpaper on the ball. On Tuesday, a Sydney Morning Herald report stated that Bancroft had no fresh information to give to the Cricket Australia (CA) integrity unit, which contacted him. CA had offered a reinvestigation.

“Bancroft, who is playing county cricket in the UK, had responded overnight on Monday in a conciliatory manner and indicated that he did not have significant new information to share with CA,” the report stated.

We’re innocent: Bowlers

The bowlers who were caught in the storm triggered by his statement issued a joint statement to deny any knowledge of the illegal plot.

The statement by the bowlers said: “We pride ourselves on our honesty. So it’s been disappointing to see that our integrity has been questioned by some journalists and past players in recent days in regard to the Cape Town Test of 2018 …We feel compelled to put the key facts on the record again: We did not know a foreign substance was taken onto the field to alter the condition of the ball until we saw the images on the big screen at Newlands.” — TNS, Agencies



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