Cricket: Cummins, Starc, Hazlewood, Lyon clarify stance on allegations related to sandpaper gate

WION Web Team
New Delhi, India Published: May 18, 2021, 01:10 PM(IST)

Cricket: Cummins, Starc, Hazlewood, Lyon clarify stance on allegations related to sandpaper gate Photograph:( AFP )

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Australian bowling quarter of Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood, Mitchell Starc and Nathan Lyon has written a letter to the Australian public as they clarified their stance on the infamous sandpaper gate episode during the Newlands Test against South Africa in 2018 where Cameron Bancroft, Steve Smith and David Warner were found guilty of trying to alter the condition of the ball. Read the full statement here.

Australian bowling quarter of Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood, Mitchell Starc and Nathan Lyon has written a letter to the Australian public as they clarified their stance on the infamous sandpaper gate episode during the Newlands Test against South Africa in 2018 where Cameron Bancroft, Steve Smith and David Warner were found guilty of trying to alter the condition of the ball.

While Warner and Smith completed their 12-month ban and Bancroft his nine-month suspension, recent statements by the latter have triggered the controversy once again. In a recent interview, Bancroft had hinted that bowlers were aware of ball-tampering during the infamous Test match.

Bancroft’s statement created an uproar among the cricket fans and pundits. Since Bancroft’s remarks, many former players including the likes of Michael Clarke, Adam Gilchrist, Michael Vaughan among others have said that bowlers are pretty aware of the condition of the ball.  

ALSO READ: Michael Clarke, Adam Gilchrist react to Cameron Bancroft's ball-tampering remarks

Many even suggested that the bowlers from that Australian team should be interrogated again while others said cricket should move on from the dark episode.

With allegations coming their way, Cummins, Starc, Hazlewood and Lyon have written a letter to the Australian public as they cleared the air surrounding the controversy. The quartet said that even the umpires failed to spot any changes to the ball and similarly, none of them had any clue about whether the ball was being tampered with or not.

ALSO READ: Cricket Australia reaches out to Cameron Bancroft after revelation on ball-tampering issue

Full statement by Cummins, Starc, Hazlewood and Lyon on sandpaper gate and recent allegations:

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To The Australian Public,

We pride ourselves on our honesty. So it’s been disappointing to see that our integrity has been questioned by some journalists and past players in recent days in regard to the Cape Town Test of 2018.

We have already answered questions many times on this issue but we feel compelled to put the key facts on the record again:

We did not know a foreign substance was taken onto the field to alter the condition of the ball until we saw the images on the big screen at Newlands

And to those who despite the absence of evidence, insist that ‘we must have known' about the use of a foreign substance simply because we are bowlers, we say this: The umpires during that Test match, Nigel Llong and Richard Illingworth, both very respected and experienced umpires, inspected the ball after the images surfaced on the TV coverage and did not change it because there was no sign of damage.

None of this excuses what happened on the field that day at Newlands. It was wrong and it should have never happened.

We’ve learned valuable lessons and we’d like to think the public can see a change for the better in terms of the way we play, the way we behave and respect the game. Our commitment to improving as people and players will continue.

We respectfully request an end to the rumour-mongering and innuendo.

It has gone on too long and it is time to move on.

Regards

Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood, Mitch Starc, Nathan Lyon

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