Former Australian cricket captain Ricky Ponting has slammed Cameron Bancroft for a tell-all interview in which he detailed David Warner as the ringleader in the ball-tampering scandal.
- Cameron Bancroft’s interview with Fox Sports regarding the ball-tampering scandal was broadcast on day one of the Boxing Day Test
- In it, the banned Australian cricketer alleged David Warner approached him to work on the ball against South Africa
- Former Australian skipper Ricky Ponting and Michael Slater have questioned Bancroft’s timing, saying the interview is damaging, particularly to Warner
Ponting believes the timing of the interview and the statements it contained were out of line.
“I just don’t think he had to say some of the things he had to say to be honest,” said Ponting, speaking on Channel Seven’s day two preview of the Boxing Day Test against India.
The interview, which had aired a day earlier during lunch on day one, saw Bancroft allege that Warner approached him and asked him to use sandpaper on the ball in the third Test against South Africa in Cape Town in March this year.
Bancroft, Warner and captain Steve Smith were banned after a Cricket Australia investigation, with Bancroft given a nine-month suspension, and Warner and Smith receiving 12 months each.
Fox Cricket tweet: “Dave suggested to me to carry out the action” Cameron Bancroft sits down with @gilly381 in an open and honest interview on the Cape Town ball-tampering incident
Bancroft’s ban ends on Saturday, while Smith and Warner remain suspended until March.
“I am not too sure how happy the players will be about it, or how happy Cricket Australia will be about it,” said Ponting.
“I was very disappointed about the timing of it,” he added.
Former Australian Test opener Michael Slater also weighed in, accusing Bancroft and Steve Smith of embarking on self-centred public relations campaigns, by providing fresh commentary in relation to the incident, nine months on.
“They are all running some kind of strategy to try and regain respect from the public and the players,” said Slater, also speaking on Channel Seven.
“In those comments, he has buried Dave Warner.”
When quizzed for his view on SEN radio, Cricket Australia chief executive Kevin Roberts did not agree that Bancroft’s interview would have a negative impact on Warner’s plight.
“I don’t know that it does,” said Roberts. “Our focus is to work with Dave, who I spoke to about three days ago on his integration plan.”
Roberts says all three players will be subject to the same level of scrutiny when and if the time comes for them to be considered to play for Australia again.
“I think what is really important is that Dave, Steve and Cameron will really need sign to up to the players’ mantra that everything they do is really seeking to make Australians proud,” said Roberts.
“Our non-negotiable expectation is that we compete with honour.”
Bancroft is set to make his return from a nine-month ban for the Perth Scorchers in the Big Bash against the Hurricanes in Hobart on Sunday, December 30.
Ponting has also thrown his support behind Steve Smith one day captaining Australia again.
“I think he will come back into the captaincy. At the end of the day he has owned up to what his leadership failures are,” said Ponting.
“Hopefully I am like most, I am willing to forgive after he serves his penalty.
“I think he will come back a much better person and a much better leader after what’s happened.”