Just Not Cricket

Australia batsman caught up in ball-tampering row during Test against South Africa

Cameron Bancroft appeared to rub the ball with a yellow item, which was then returned to his pocket before being dropped down the front of his trousers.

CAMERON BANCROFT WILL have questions to answer after an alleged ball-tampering incident during day three of the third Test between South Africa and Australia in Cape Town.

937323842 Bancroft and Australia captain Steve Smith speak with the umpires. Gallo Images Gallo Images

The Australian opener appeared to rub the ball with a yellow item, which was then returned to his pocket before being dropped down the front of his trousers.

Bancroft produced a black sunglasses carrier when pressed over the incident by the umpires, appearing to imply that the case was the only item in his pocket.

Spectators speculated on social media that the item used and then swiftly hidden by Bancroft was sandpaper, although there is no concrete evidence to confirm whether this was the case.

The incident is the latest in a string of controversial moments that have blighted the four-match series.

David Warner was in the headlines during the first Test in Durban after becoming involved in a heated exchange with South Africa’s Quinton de Kock as the teams left the field for tea on day four.

It was alleged the wicketkeeper had made personal comments regarding Warner’s wife and the ICC docked the Australian 75 per cent of his match fee and gave him three demerit points, while De Kock was fined 25 per cent and received one demerit point.

Manish Kalauni / YouTube

In the second Test in Port Elizabeth, Kagiso Rabada risked disciplinary action by brushing shoulders with Steve Smith having dismissed the Australia captain. Rabada was initially suspended for two games — the remainder of the series — but managed to overturn that decision on appeal.

Warner then appeared to become embroiled in a verbal spat with a spectator as he left the field after being clean bowled by Rabada on Friday.

Faf du Plessis was found guilty of ball-tampering during a 2016 series between the two sides, when he applied saliva to the ball with a sweet in his mouth.

The South Africa skipper was fined his full match fee and given three demerit points over the incident.

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