Cameron Bancroft: Australian thought about quitting cricket during ball-tampering ban

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Cameron Bancroft: Australian thought about quitting cricket during ball-tampering ban
Cameron Bancroft: Durham captain on future Australia hopes

Durham captain Cameron Bancroft said he thought about quitting cricket during his ban for ball-tampering but would now “love” to play for Australia again.

The 26-year-old, who returned from a nine-month suspension in December, will lead his new county out for the first time on Thursday when they play Sussex.

“It was a very challenging time for me and at that point you can’t really see how you’re going to come out the other side,” he told BBC Newcastle.

“But like anything, you keep working.”

The Western Australian has not added to his eight Test caps for Australia since he was banned along with former captain Steve Smith and vice-captain David Warner.

Bancroft was caught using sandpaper to damage the ball during the third Test against South Africa in March 2018.

Smith admitted that the side’s “leadership group” had devised a plan to tamper with the ball, and Cricket Australia’s investigation found Warner instructed Bancroft how to carry it out.

Bancroft said it was “his aspiration” to play Test cricket in the future, but his focus at the moment was to enjoy the game.

“You keep taking steps forward and here I am now and I’m playing cricket again and enjoying every minute of it,” he added.

“There were definitely times when I felt like that [wanted to walk away from cricket], but once I got back playing for my club team in Perth I had a lot of fun.”

He compared the ordeal to a grieving process, but said he was looking forward to showing people how much he has grown as a person and scoring runs for Durham, with an Ashes series in England coming up this summer.

“I look forward to getting to know the members and connecting with them. I’m sure if there are people out there that feel uncertain, I’d love to sit down and talk to them,” he said.

“I’m a greater person after the mistakes I’ve made in my entire life, like we all are, so you grow and you move forward.

“You can’t really go through an experience like I have done over the past 12 months and not change as a person, that would be silly.”

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