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Derbyshire's Hughes defends banned Aussie star Bancroft

Alex Hughes
Alex Hughes

Derbyshire’s Alex Hughes says Cricket Australia’s banning of three players ‘isn’t amazingly out of the ordinary.'

What should have been a close matchup between two of cricket’s greatest Test nations was overshadowed by Australia’s attempt to tamper with the ball in the third Test against South Africa.

One of Australia’s younger talents, Cameron Bancroft, was caught on television using a piece of tape covered in grit to affect the ball’s condition.

Bancroft received a nine month ban alongside captain Steve Smith, who instructed Bancroft’s actions, and vice-skipper David Warner, who will both suffer a year-long ban.

And Hughes puts the full blame on captain Smith. He said: “The captain has the final say, so he’s obviously said OK to the decision therefore the main criticism should go on him. I feel a bit sorry for Bancroft and the fact that he’s a young lad, he’s just trying to fit in with his team. He’s trying to gain a platform to boost his career and he did it for the team.

“They’ve all been banned quite heftily but I think Cricket Australia are trying to make an example of it.

“I think it’s opened fans’ eyes. It’s not the first time someone’s tampered with the ball and won’t be the last. It would be interesting to see what would happen to England if it was them in this situation. I don’t think it would be as big of a deal.”

Australia’s next match see’s them face-up against England in May without the contributions of Bancroft, Smith and Warner. Five of the selected squad of 20 have received contracts from Cricket Australia for the first time, indicating an immediate replacement for what will be a huge gap in the Australian training camp.