'Very smartly worded and written': Michael Clarke on bowlers' letter on 2018 Sandpaper gate

WION Web Team
New Delhi, Delhi, IndiaUpdated: May 19, 2021, 09:37 PM IST

A file photo Photograph:(Zee News Network)

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Michael Clarke feels that the letter was written smartly by the bowlers and questioned their statement. 

Cameron Bancroft's recent comments over the 2018 Sandpapergate has reopened the wounds of Australian cricket. The batsman had hinted that the bowlers in the match knew about ball-tampering. However, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, and Nathan Lyon, who featured in the Test match, issued a statement to clarify that they were unaware of the incident. 

But, former Australian skipper Michael Clarke feels that the letter was written smartly by the bowlers and questioned their statement. 

“I knew when I made my comments about what Cameron Bancroft's quotes were it was more than likely going to offend certain people. It certainly was not done personally from my perspective, particularly with the four bowlers concerned, I’m good friends with all of them. I think there have been a number of people, past players, journalists who have made comments based on what Cameron Bancroft said and then what David Saker, the bowling coach, as well had said,” Clarke told Sky Sports Radio on Wednesday morning.

“I think that is what's really important after seeing the joint statement. The one thing that stands out for mine in that statement [is] they forgot how this conversation was brought up. It was comments from a teammate Cameron Bancroft who was involved in the situation and then quotes from David Saker who was the bowling coach at the time.

“After journalists and past players like myself, Adam Gilchrist and Stuart Broad, a current player, had seen what was said and written, a lot of people have made comments. I think those guys and Cricket Australia need to remember how this conversation has been brought up so in their statement they should have added where it says: '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' -- you probably should have put current teammate who was there at the time and did the crime and bowling coach who was there too. You probably left two people out,” he added.

“This statement is very smartly worded and written so I'm not going to sit here and continue to talk about every word in that statement. I’ve said what I’ve said. It certainly was not personal towards them. I said what I said because that’s what I believe,” Clarke concluded.

Cameron Bancroft last played for Australia in the 2019 Ashes Test against England. The batsman acknowledges he cushioned his opportunity to make a long vacation in international cricket after his demonstration in the Cape Town Test. Cameron Bancroft has played 10 Tests, accumulating 446 runs at an average of 26.3, including three fifties. The batsman had played an amazing thump of 77 in Cape Town in the scandalous Test in 2018 and once named it as his best thump in international cricket.