He’s the youngest, most inexperienced player at the centre of cricket’s biggest scandal. Cameron Bancroft, who joined the Australian test side just months ago, was spotted using sandpaper to alter the surface of the cricket ball during a match against South Africa on March 24.
Since then, he’s been hit with a nine-month ban and Australia has watched on in horror as the team’s captain Steve Smith, vice captain David Warner and coach Darren Lehmann have all stood down because of the scandal.
Now, one of Bancroft’s former teammates, Perth Scorchers star Michael Klinger, has shared the emotional message Bancroft sent to him in the midst of the unfolding saga. It’s a message, he says, that proves the young cricketer’s true worth.
In an op-ed written for Player’s Voice, Klinger said he sent his teammate a message of support as news of the scandal came to light.
“It was something along the lines of, ‘Thinking of you, mate’. I’m sure he’d received hundreds of similar ones,” Klinger wrote.
“The guy’s world was being turned upside down and there are plenty of people like me who care for him.”
But Bancroft’s response, Klinger said, “summed up what Bangers, the person, is all about”.
"He thanked me, then turned the discussion to my family. He said my wife, Cindy, is going through something of far greater significance than what he was experiencing in South Africa," Klinger shared.
Cindy was diagnosed with breast cancer just a few months ago. "That, he added, was true perspective," Klinger said.
"I think that's a pretty remarkable way for a 25-year-old bloke to respond in the middle of the biggest crisis of his life, one that was being documented all over the world," Klinger shared, adding that he didn't condone his teammates actions, but instead wanted to let fans know that Bancroft is not a "bad bloke".