Australia’s Cameron Bancroft has raised eyebrows after visuals emerged of him using a small yellow object while cupping his hands around the ball before shining it on Day 3 of the third Test between South Africa and Australia in Cape Town. He also seemed to hide that object in his underpants before umpires Nigel Llong and Richard Illingworth summoned him to speak about his actions. Bancroft then produced a black cloth while speaking with the umpires, seemingly showing what he used while cleaning the ball. The visuals, though, showed that what he showed the umpires was quite different from what he was using.
There were visuals that showed Bancroft shifting the object from his right pocket to his underpants before being summoned by the umpires. The umpires for their part, seemed to be satisfied by the chat they had with the Australian and did not change the ball or penalise the Australians five runs, which is the penalty for ball tamperiong. Australia’s pacers have managed to generate considerable reverse swing throughout the day although South African batsmen have dominated and extended their lead.
There was also a visual of Darren Lehmann speaking through a walkie-talkie before the umpires summoned Bancroft and after the visuals emerged of Bancroft using the object. Lehmann seemed to be communicating with subsitute fielder Peter Handscomb sitting by the boundary. Handscomb then reportedly communicated something with Bancroft following which the latter shifted the position of the object from his pocket into his pants. The visuals have gone viral on social media with even the likes of Dale Steyn and Kevin Pietersen have expressed their opinion.
The series has had an acrimonious air about it with ball tampering only one of the many points of contention that has arisen between the two sides. Australians David Warner and Pat Cummins have both been highlighted for seemingly trying to bring artificial changes to the ball using suspicious methods. Warner was pictured wearing bandages on his hands in Port Elizabeth and on Day 1 of the third Test, Cummins stepped on the ball.