Selection chair George Bailey said there was no connection between Bancroft’s absence and Sandpaper-gate
George Bailey, Australia’s chair of selectors, has dispelled rumors that the 2018 ball-tampering controversy had anything to do with Cameron Bancroft’s exclusion from the Test team.
Following David Warner’s retirement, Bancroft was once again the highest run scorer in the Sheffield Shield. However, with Steven Smith starting at first base and Matt Renshaw designated as the backup batter, Bancroft was unable to secure a spot against the West Indies.
Following his ban, Bancroft has participated in two Test matches against England in 2019. However, his remarks in an interview from 2021 regarding the fast bowlers’ need to have understood what was going on prompted them to release a joint statement stating they were unaware of the preparations.
When asked whether there were any unresolved matters from that period that affected his choice, Bailey responded, “Categorically, no.” “I’ve discussed this with Cameron several times. The panel’s viewpoint has never been explored at any point. It’s just a decision based on cricket.
“We don’t have any problems with Cam participating; there isn’t a single team member who would object. If people were expecting to that as an explanation, I would be disappointed. I can only restate to you and Cam that this is untrue; it never has been and it never will be.
Bailey agreed that Bancroft’s run total made a compelling case, but they currently thought Renshaw was the greatest batter ahead of him. Marcus Harris, who has a central contract and was the backup batter during the Ashes, should consider himself unfortunate, he added.
“Cam’s record over the last couple of years has been phenomenal and it’s made this decision really challenging, a line-ball call,” Bailey stated. “There’s a loud knock on the door. I think it’s fantastic that so many players are hammering down the door.
Even while Matt Renshaw and Cameron Green are ecstatic, there are always those on the opposite side who are broken and giving it their all. Those players are all trying to return to that Test team because they understand what it’s like to be a member, and there will be more possibilities in the future.
“And without a doubt, playing at your peak at the appropriate moment and being in the right place at the right time are important factors in cricket selection. In that regard, I also feel sorry for Marcus Harris, who has been on several trips and who was rather unlucky to be dropped during his most recent Test match. It’s the old adage “you have to keep doing what you are doing,” so I’m sure it’s hollow for those folks right now.
A few days prior, Bancroft said that he would be “disappointed” if Australia chose to replace Warner with an unconventional opener. “Cricket means the world to me and I’ve put my heart and soul into developing my game as an opening batter,” he stated.
Bailey also mentioned South Australia’s Nathan McSweeney and Western Australia’s Aaron Hardie as two players pushing for higher honors, indicating they may be considered for the New Zealand tour in March if an extra batter is taken for the two Tests. Renshaw’s call-up places him as the next in line should another vacancy arrive in the top order, and there is a thought he is viewed as Usman Khawaja’s eventual replacement.