Former Australia skipper Michael Clarke.
Former Australia skipper Michael Clarke.

Sandpaper Gate: Aussie bowlers' statement very smartly worded, feels Clarke

ANI | Updated: May 19, 2021 11:29 IST

Sydney [Australia], May 19 (ANI): With Cameron Bancroft's recent comments on the Sandpaper Gate fiasco, the episode has once again become a talking point in the cricketing world. And the bowlers from the Cape Town Test came out with a statement slamming former cricketers and pundits who said they felt the bowlers would have been aware of the plan.

Former Australia skipper Michael Clarke was one of them who had raised questions. Asked about the bowlers' statement on Sky Sports radio on Wednesday morning, Clarke said: "I knew when I made my comments about what Cameron Bancroft's quotes were it was more than likely going to offend certain people. It certainly was not done personally from my perspective, particularly with the four bowlers concerned, I'm good friends with all of them."

"I think there have been a number of people, past players, journalists who have made comments based on what Cameron Bancroft said and then what David Saker, the bowling coach, as well had said. I think that is what's really important after seeing the joint statement.

"The one thing that stands out for mine in that statement [is] they forgot how this conversation was brought up. It was comments from a teammate Cameron Bancroft who was involved in the situation and then quotes from David Saker who was the bowling coach at the time.

"After journalists and past players like myself, Adam Gilchrist and Stuart Broad, a current player, had seen what was said and written, a lot of people have made comments. I think those guys and Cricket Australia need to remember how this conversation has been brought up so in their statement they should have added where it says: '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' -- you probably should have put current teammate who was there at the time and did the crime and bowling coach who was there too. You probably left two people out.

"This statement is very smartly worded and written so I'm not going to sit here and continue to talk about every word in that statement. I've said what I've said. It certainly was not personal towards them. I said what I said because that's what I believe."

Ever since Bancroft revealed that more than three people would have knowledge about the Sandpaper Gate, the fiasco has once again become a talking point in the cricketing world. Cricket Australia's Integrity team had reached out to the right-handed batsman to see if he has more information to give on the issue.

He replied in a conciliatory manner and he also indicated that he did not have significant new information to share with the board, reported Sydney Morning Herald. He told Cricket Australia that he is supportive of the investigation and satisfied with the outcome. As a result, the matter is now unlikely to escalate.

In March 2018, Bancroft was caught on camera trying to change the condition of the ball using sandpaper in a Test match against South Africa in Cape Town. The incident later went on to be labelled as the 'Sandpaper Gate' and is considered as one of the darkest moments in the history of Australian cricket. (ANI)