Cameron Timothy Bancroft
November 19, 1992
Right hand bat
Whatever Cameron Bancroft goes on to achieve in his career, he will forever be known as the player who put sandpaper down his trousers in Cape Town. He was handed a nine-month ban for his part in the controversy, bringing a sudden halt to a Test career that had shown some promise without quite taking off. Whether another chance comes in 2019 and beyond remains to be seen.
A patient opening batsman with a sound technique, Bancroft made a debut for Australia as a batsman/keeper in a T20I against India in Sydney early in 2016. He enjoyed a breakthrough season in 2014-15 when he finished third on the Sheffield Shield run tally with 896 runs at 47.15. The highlight of his summer was a maiden double-century: he batted for more than 13 hours in scoring 211 against New South Wales, proof of the high price he places on his wicket. A call-up for Australia A followed and he used his feet and the sweep to great effect in negating India A's spinners when he made 150 in Chennai. Bancroft was then named in Australia's Test squad for the 2015 tour of Bangladesh, which was cancelled due to safety concerns, and he instead had to settle for another productive Shield campaign with 732 runs at 45.75. It was his attributes as a part-time glovesman that eventually brought him a T20 international debut but that did not shake the belief that it is in the longer form in which his greatest potential lies. Highly rated by his Western Australia coach Justin Langer, Bancroft had debuted for his state in one-day cricket at 18, but had to wait two more years to be given a chance in the Sheffield Shield side.
Gloucestershire signed him as an overseas player for the early part of the 2016 season. It was a disappointing outcome as he made only one half-century in five matches, but they gave him an opportunity to continue his education in English conditions by re-signing him for the whole of 2017. Another commonplace season followed until an unbeaten 206 against Kent, spanning more than eight hours, added some substance to his season.
His Test debut came at the start of the 2017-18 Ashes and included an unbeaten 82 before his returns faded during a series where he became most remembered for his role in the Jonny Bairstow 'headbutt' incident in a Perth bar earlier in the tour. He was retained for the South Africa trip and made some tough runs against an impressive attack to suggest better things to come. Then it came crashing down.
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