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On this day in 2018: Sandpaper gate rocks the cricket world

  • On March 24, 2018, Cameron Bancroft was seen using a yellow piece of paper to alter the shape of the ball.
  • Bancroft, along with Steve Smith and David Warner, received bans that would keep them out of cricket for up to a year.
Modified 24 Mar 2020, 11:37 IST

Steve Smith addresses the media after the ball-tampering scandal
Steve Smith addresses the media after the ball-tampering scandal

Two years to the day, we look back at the sandpaper gate scandal that rocked the cricket world. On 24 March, 2018, Cameron Bancroft was caught on camera, trying to alter the condition of the ball with a yellow piece of paper.

Australian captain, Steve Smith, and Bancroft later admitted to using sandpaper in order to make the ball swing. Smith also later admitted that members of the senior management team were aware of the incident.

It soon became apparent that vice-captain, David Warner, was the instigator from the leadership group that came up with the sandpaper ploy.

The incident was widely condemned across the world and more so than ever in Australia. Cricket Australia handed out one-year bans to Smith and Warner, and a nine-month ban to Bancroft. 

The Aussies would go on to lose both the third and the fourth Test matches, and the series 3-1. Tim Paine was announced captain of the Australian team in the immediate aftermath of the series, and would go on to lead the team in the final match of the four-Test series. 

Paine was eventually named permanent captain of the Australian Test side, while Aaron Finch would go on to lead the ODI team.

Smith and Warner made their returns to the team in time for the 2019 ODI World Cup. Smith would make a heroic comeback into the Test team with a stellar Ashes, scoring 774 runs in just seven innings.

Warner, meanwhile, took a little longer to click in the longer format of the game, finally coming into his own during the Australian summer, against Pakistan. The left-hander scored 489 runs in just 2 innings in the series.

Published 24 Mar 2020, 11:37 IST
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