Cummins, Starc, Hazlewood, Lyon respond to Sandpapergate rumours: 'Did not know foreign substance was taken onto field'

Sandpapergate: Aussie bowlers who played in the Newlands Test said in a joint statement that they were not aware about any foreign substance taken to the field to alter the condition of the ball.
Australia bowlers Pat Cummins, Nathan Lyon. and Mitchell Starc. File(File)
Australia bowlers Pat Cummins, Nathan Lyon. and Mitchell Starc. File(File)
Updated on May 18, 2021 02:17 PM IST
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Australian bowlers Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, and Nathan Lyon on Tuesday made their stand clear on the infamous Sandpapergate controversy as they issued a joint statement to the 'Australian Public'. In the statement they made it clear that they were not aware about any foreign substance being taken to the field to alter the condition of the ball.

Australian player Cameron Bancroft, who was reprimanded and suspended for 9 months for his role in the ball tampering incident in the 2018 Newlands Test against South Africa, in a recent interview with the Guardian, had hinted that bowlers might have known about the ball-tampering.

This has led to the incident being brought back into the forefront. Then Australian captain Steve Smith and vice-captain David Warner were banned for a year for their role during the incident, which led to big changes in the way Australia approached the game of cricket.


"We did not know a foreign substance was taken onto the field to alter the conditions of the ball until we saw the images on the big screen at Newlands," the statement read.

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The Australia bowling brigade also added that even the umpires were unable to detect any damage to the ball after it was rubbed with Sandpaper.

"And to those who, despite the evidence, insist that we must have known about the use of a foreign substance simply because we are bowlers, we say this: The umpires during that Test match, Nigel Long and Richard Illingworth, both very respected and experienced umpires, inspected the ball after the images surfaced on the TV coverage and did not change it because there was no sign of damage," the statement said.

Here is the statement in Full:

To The Australian Public,

We pride ourselves on our honesty. So it's been disappointing to see that our integrity has been questioned by some journalists and past players in recent days in regard to the Cape Town Test of 2018.

We have already answered questions many times on this issue, but we feel compelled to put the key facts on the record again:

We did not know a foreign substance was taken onto the field to alter the conditions of the ball until we saw the images on the big screen at Newlands.

And to those who, despite the evidence, insist that we must have known about the use of a foreign substance simply because we are bowlers, we say this: The umpires during that Test match, Nigel Long and Richard Illingworth, both very respected and experienced umpires, inspected the ball after the images surfaced on the TV coverage and did not change it because there was no sign of damage.

None of this excuses what happened on the field that day at Newlands It was wrong and it should never have happened.

We've all learned valuable lessons and we'd like to think the public can see a change for the better in terms of the way we play, the way we behave and respect the garne. Our commitment to improving as people and players will continue

We respectfully request an end to the rumour-mongering and Innuendo, It has gone on too long and it is time to move on

Regards,

Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood, Mitch Starc, Nathan Lyon

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Tuesday, January 18, 2022