Former Australian captain Mark Taylor backed the Australian bowling unit after the 2018 sandpapergate was once again put in the spotlight by batsman Cameron Bancroft. In an interview with the Guardian last week, Bancroft had hinted that Australian bowlers may have been aware of the ball handling.
In response to this statement, several former cricketers felt that the bowlers would have known what was to come. However, Australian bowlers – Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood, Mitchell Starc and Nathan Lyon – who played the Newlands Test in South Africa are issuing a joint statement, denying any knowledge of tampering with the ball.
Speaking to Channel 9, Taylor said, “What is obvious to me is that they didn’t know he had been tampered with. You just have to read what they said during the week. If I could just read it: “We didn’t know that a foreign substance had been introduced into the field to change the condition of the ball.” And as they said, the two referees of the match did not change the ball.
“So there was an attempt to change the state of the ball, but they didn’t. The referee said: “This ball is still good, let’s go.” So they didn’t know, ”he added.
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Taylor also defended Cricket Australia’s investigation into the case. He said there was a four day gap between the Cape test and the next game, therefore the CA did what they could.
“I don’t think they (Cricket Australia) will ever be able to put it away. It’s kind of like the armpit bowling incident of 40 years ago. It will continue to burn and bubble. The question of whether Cricket Australia did enough three years ago – yes.
“We had a four day window between the Cape test and the start of the fourth test, which was in Johannesburg. To send someone, do an investigation, make a report and make decisions about it. It was to send the three players home and then to take care of them. It was not an ideal situation. It would have been great to have six months to do all of this. We had a four day window, and during that time we got it right, ”he said.