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Sandpaper Gate

Australia found themselves involved in yet another controversy during the ongoing Test series against South Africa when Cameron Bancroft was found tampering the condition of the ball using a sandpaper at Cape Town. With an intention to obtain reverse-swing, Bancroft was caught on camera rubbing the sandpaper on the rough side of the ball, the side opposite side to that where shining of the ball is allowed by rubbing it on one's trousers.


After the incident though, he was seen placing the yellow object down his trousers after twelfth man Peter Handscomb informed him of being trapped, having himself had a word with coach Darren Lehmann via walkie talkie. When the on-field umpires Nigel Llong and Richard Illingworth summoned him for a word on account of the footage on the giant screen, Bancroft showed a long, black cloth in his possession.

Later on, however, both Bancroft and captain Steven Smith confessed in a press conference that it was a pre-planned attempt to cause the ball to reverse, with Smith claiming responsibility on behalf of the “leadership group”, which also included vice-captain David Warner.


Smith and Warner were later stood down as leaders for the Cape Town Test by Cricket Australia, with Tim Paine being made to step in. The ICC, on their part, suspended Smith for one Test and fined him his entire match fee, as Bancroft escaped with a 75% fine and three demerit points.


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