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Cameron Bancroft opens up on life after ball-tampering ban nine months ago

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Cameron Bancroft wrote a letter to himself and spoke of the hard times after he was suspended for nine months by Cricket Australia for his involvement in the ball-tampering row.

India TV Sports Desk Written by: India TV Sports Desk New Delhi Published on: December 22, 2018 11:34 IST
Cameron Bancroft
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Cameron Bancroft's ban will come to an end later this month

Cameron Bancroft was the chief offender of the ball-tampering scandal that rocked Australian and world cricket earlier this year and his life changed drastically after that.

Handed a nine-month ban as opposed to 12 that Steve Smith and David Warner faced, Bancroft even thought of quitting cricket, he revealed in a letter that he wrote to his 'former self'. 

He went on to write that acceptance is the way forward and support from friends and family is essential in moving on from such a career defining incident.

"Many people will judge you as a cheat, but that is OK. Always love and respect everyone. You will love those people because you forgive them. Just like you're going to forgive yourself. You know you cannot say sorry enough, but actually it is time you allow your cricket to be about what you have learnt and use this opportunity to make a great impact," Bancroft wrote in The Western Australian.

"With the support of family, friends and staff close to you at the WACA, you will begin the journey of forgiveness of the self, and of others. You learn self-awareness about who you are, about love, about your purpose and find what brings you joy. It will begin by waking up at the same time each day, going to the gym, meditation and plenty of what you have never been so good at dealing with..."spare time". It used to be just cricket - literally, that was it - but it will change," he went on to add.

Bancroft, whose ban gets over later this month, revealed that he used to run 35km a week and practice yoga -- something that calmed him and taught him to be true to himself.

"This early period brings about its own challenges. Running 35km a week and practising yoga each day gives you a release. You won't realise until later how significant the rolling out of that mat will be for you. It will heal you from the inside out. Peeling back the layers of who you think you are and understanding again the values of being true to yourself. The simple mistake of doing something because you were wanting to fit in had come at a huge cost. Yoga will teach you how to be true to yourself."

"Feeling this and seeing the smiles on the faces of kids who are suffering far more than you are will humble you. You learn that some people, like these kids, fight battles far greater than you can understand. You will forever be grateful for the energy you felt from the group of people that make up the Kyle Andrews Foundation. Seriously...I mean really grateful. You consider yourself to be unaffectionate - these kids will teach you otherwise. The value of a nice warm hug will surprise you and become part of who you are."

The 26-year-old also went on to mention that a conversation with Adam Voges -- the West Australia and Warriors coach was going to be difficult but after that, he felt like returning to the field again.

"A conversation in August with your new coach, Adam Voges, becomes one of the most significant in your journey. As the Warriors squad prepare for a pre-season trip to Brisbane, you will be told that you are not included. Yes, you won't be going, plus you can't even play! Banned and suspended. Not a big deal some would think, but it will be huge for you," he revealed.

"V [Voges] will ask you to justify why you should go to Brisbane. You easily write four pages of reasons - it's truly unfulfilling. On your way to present your case to your coach you realise this is the moment when you begin to become OK with the thought of never having cricket as part of your life again.

"Until you are able to acknowledge that you are Cameron Bancroft, the person who plays cricket as a profession, and not Cameron Bancroft the cricketer, you will not be able to move forward. This will become a defining moment for you."

Bancroft played club cricket around Australia much like Smith and Warner to stay in touch and with the ban coming to an end this month, he is in line to return to the Perth Scorchers squad for the Big Bash League.

And he feels that the last nine months has changed his life and from now on he hopes to contribute to cricket teams and take on challenges ahead.

"While you do not look that different, on the inside you are a vastly different man to the bloke who made that mistake in South Africa," he wrote. "It is your hope that what you have learnt will contribute to the cricket teams you perform in and to others who need to overcome a challenge or setback.

"Have faith in the future. After all, you are not a professional cricketer, you are simply Cameron. Life is an incredible journey. Have faith and embrace uncertainty."

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