Cricket Australia interim CEO Nick Hockley has backed four Australian bowlers after they pleaded innocence around the 2018 ball tampering affair.
- Cameron Bancroft has declined to provide more information to Cricket Australia
- The batsman told media on the weekend the bowlers’ knowledge is “self-explanatory”
- Four bowlers issued a statement on Tuesday pleading their innocence
Batsman Cameron Bancroft told a journalist on the weekend that Australian bowlers’ knowledge of the incident is “self-explanatory”.
The Australian bowlers who played in the test, Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood, Mitch Starc and Nathan Lyon, pleaded innocence in a joint statement yesterday.
Hockley said the bowlers’ statement yesterday was unequivocal.
“We read it with interest and I think they made their position very clear,” he said.
In their statement, the four bowlers said they did not know a foreign substance was taken onto the field to alter the condition of the ball until they saw the images on the big screen at the ground.
They also asked for an end to the rumour-mongering and innuendo and say that it is time to move on.
“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,” they said.
Cricket Australia’s integrity unit approached Bancroft after his comments in the press.
Mr Hockley has told ABC Sport no more information was forthcoming from Bancroft.
“We have received confirmation from Cam that he’s got no further information subsequent to the initial investigation and we thank Cameron for confirming that,” he said.
Australian captain Tim Paine said the bowlers were frustrated but all players would have to deal with the fallout of the affair for the rest of their lives.
“I think they’re frustrated that it keeps popping up, but again that’s part and parcel for everyone who played in that test match,” he said.
“It’s going to keep popping up and you’re going to have to get used to that.”
Paine said some players had spoken to Bancroft and he didn’t think the comment was deliberate.
“I don’t think it was intentional to do anything like that,” he said. “I think he was caught on the hop a little bit.”