'We know we made a monumental mistake': David Saker unsure what CA will find out if Sandpaper Gate is reinvestigated
David Saker, Australia's bowling coach in 2018, at the time of the Sandpaper Gate, said on Sunday that is he is unsure of fruitful findings and results if the incident is investigated again. His statement arrives after Cricket Australia (CA) decided to reopen the investigation of the scandal that took place during the South Africa-Australia Test series.
CA took the decision based on the revelations made by Cameron Bancroft, saying there was awareness in the bowling camp that such an act was going to be carried out. Bancroft, who was caught on camera rubbing the ball with sandpaper before shoving it in his pants during the 2018 Test against South Africa in Cape Town, was handed a six-month ban for his role in the scandal that rocked Cricket Australia.
The CA found captain Steve Smith and vice-captain David Warner also involved in the scandal and both the cricketers were also handed a 12-month ban for their roles.
"Obviously a lot of things went wrong at that time. The finger-pointing is going to go on and on and on. There were a lot of people to blame. It could have been me to blame, it could have been someone else. It could have been stopped and it wasn't, which is unfortunate. Cameron's a very nice guy. He's just doing it to get something off his chest ... He's not going to be the last," Saker told Sydney Morning Herald.
"You could point your finger at me, you could point your finger at Boof [then coach Darren Lehmann], could you point it at other people, of course you could. The disappointing thing is it's never going to go away. Regardless of what's said. We all know that we made a monumental mistake. The gravity wasn't as plain until it all came out," he added.
Asked about his thoughts on reinvestigation of the scandal, Saker said: "I don't think it'd be unfair. I just don't know what they're going to find out. It's like the underarm, it's never going to go away."
Bancroft, who is playing county cricket in Durham, said it was 'probably self-explanatory' whether the bowlers were aware that the ball was being tampered with.
"Yeah, look, all I wanted to do was to be responsible and accountable for my own actions and part. Yeah, obviously what I did benefits bowlers and the awareness around that, probably, is self-explanatory," Bancroft said to the Guardian interviewer Donald McRae as reported by ESPNcricinfo.
"I guess one thing I learnt through the journey and being responsible is that's where the buck stops [with Bancroft himself]. Had I had better awareness I would have made a much better decision," he added.
When he was further stressed, Bancroft replied: "Uh... yeah, look, I think, yeah, I think it's pretty probably self-explanatory."
Later, the Australian cricket board handed a one-year ban to both Smith and Warner, while Bancroft was given a nine-month suspension. Australia coach Darren Lehmann also resigned after the episode.
(With ANI inputs)