The sandpaper-gate in 2018 rocked the Australian cricket to its core. The infamous scandal, in which Cameron Bancroft was seen applying sandpaper on the ball to enable swing in the flight, resulted in year-long bans for the-then Australian captain Steve Smith and vice-captain David Warner from Cricket Australia. Bancroft received a nine-month ban.
More than two years after the infamous scandal, former Australian captain Ian Chappell has now revealed that the Aussie side, in fact, received a warning over 'doing something with the ball' two Tests prior to the game where the said incident took place.
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During an interview on 'The RK Show' on YouTube, Chappell said that the South African broadcasters did notice Australian team doing something to the ball in the first Test of the series.
"What happened in Newlands - apart from the fact that it was illegal, it was absolute stupidity. How the hell do you think you can get away with all those cameras in the ground?" Chappell said.
"Also, bear in mind, the Australian team was warned - I know one Australian commentator who was there, working for the Australian television and the South African television. He was in the meeting where the South African producer said, 'we believe the Australians were doing something to the ball, told the cameramen to follow them closely'. And it happened in the first Test."
Chappell further revealed that the Australian team, even after being warned about doing something with the ball, went ahead and used sandpaper in the third Test. He also said that Darren Lehmann lied in the press conference.
"Bear in mind that the incident (sandpaper-gate) happened in the third Test and Australian team was warned about it (before), and they still (did it)," said Chappell.
"You can forget about what Darren Lehmann said, you know, that it was the first time it happened. That's not true. They still went ahead and did it even after being warned and knowing about all those cameras (in place).
"Apart from being illegal, it was bloody stupid."
Steve Smith and David Warner, however, have since made a dominant return to international cricket. While Smith was the top-scorer of the Ashes series last year, playing a major role in Australia retaining the Ashes, Warner also produced stunning performances with the bat across all the formats of the game.