Following Cameron Bancroft claims that more than three people knew about the infamous 2018 ball tampering scandal, former Australian skipper Michael Clarke has now backed the young Australian batsman's claim, who was banned for six months for his role in the Sandpapergate.
Apart from him, Steve Smith and David Warner were also handed 12 months ban for their roles in the scandal while coach Darren Lehman had to quit his role. However, Cricket Australia cleared all other players from any involvement in the scandal.
Speaking on Sky Sports’ Big Sports Breakfast, Clarke said that bowlers are always aware when the ball is tampered with.
“They’ve got to hold the ball to bowl with it,” he said. “I can tell you now if you went and grabbed a pen, just a pen and put a little ‘1’ somewhere on my cricket bat; on top of the handle, on the edge of the bat, on the toe of the bat, on the face, under the grip, anywhere, just a little number one, I would have noticed."
“If you are playing sport at the highest level you know your tools that good it’s not funny. Can you imagine that ball being thrown back to the bowler and the bowler not knowing about it? Please," Clarke further said.
The 2015 ODI World Cup winning Australia captain further said that he does not think any body is surprised to find out more than three people might have known.
“I love how the articles in the paper are ‘it is such a big surprise that Cameron Bancroft has made a …’ Actually if you read his quotes it is not what he did say as what he didn’t say in regards to other people knowing about sandpapergate," Clarke said.
“What’s the surprise? That more than three people knew? I don’t think anybody who has played the game of cricket or knows a little bit about cricket would know that in a team like that, at the highest level, when the ball is such an important part of the game.
“I don’t think anybody is surprised that more than three people knew about it," he signed off.