Cameron Bancroft looks forward to the day he can open the batting alongside David Warner again, insisting there is no bad blood between the pair after he accused the former Test vice-captain of leading him astray in Cape Town.
Bancroft’s cricketing rehabilitation continued on Wednesday night when he scored 59 to lead Perth Scorchers to a six-wicket BBL win over Melbourne Stars at the MCG.
It was a welcome return to form for Bancroft, who was widely pilloried for a Boxing Day interview he conducted with Fox Sports suggesting he “didn’t know any better” when asked by Warner to interfere with the ball at Newlands.
Questions remain about whether relationships will remain strained when Warner and Steve Smith’s 12-month bans elapse on March 29.
But Bancroft is adamant he and Warner can get along if both picked for the Ashes, revealing the pair have stayed in touch during their ball-tampering suspensions.
“Absolutely. We’re good people, very honest and passionate people,” Bancroft told reporters.
“Dave, like Steve … all of us, we’ve all gone through our challenges haven’t we? We’ve all been there for each other.
“I look forward to a day like that where I can go and play cricket with Dave again. He’s a quality cricketer and someone who has achieved so much in that cricket team. As a player like myself, you strive on opportunities to be around guys like that.
We’ve kept in touch. He’s in Bangladesh at the moment, enjoying his cricket. I wish him all the best.”
Bancroft’s return to top-flight cricket after a nine-month suspension has coincided with a drastic slump for Australia’s Test side, leaving it all but certain both Smith and Warner will be welcomed back for the start of the Ashes.
Whether Bancroft joins them will depend on his performance in the second half of the Sheffield Shield season, with Marcus Harris, Joe Burns and Matthew Renshaw among the contenders vying to partner Warner at the top of the order.
The 26-year-old is unsure whether the public is ready to welcome him back but says he is slowly regaining a sense of normality.
Bancroft added that he wasn’t phased by the criticism of his Fox Sports interview, led by former Australian captain Ricky Ponting who was stunned by its timing and accused the then-banned opener of trying to repair his image.
“People are entitled to their opinions. That’s the beauty of the world,” Bancroft said.
“I go to bed every night, wake up each day looking to improve as a person and … to improve as a cricketer. Those other opinions, that’s for other people to control.”