62-year-old Ian Gould was a part of the ICC Elite Panel of Umpires before his retirement in 2019. Gould's umpiring career began in 2006 and the Englishman went on to umpire 251 international matches across formats. Gould is now releasing his autobiography in which he also sheds some light on the ball tampering incident in March 2018 that drastically changed Australian cricket. The incident happened in the South Africa vs. Australia Test series.
Ian Gould was acting as the third umpire in the Newlands Test where Cameron Bancroft was caught tampering the ball with sandpaper. As reported by Yahoo Sport Australia, when Gould got the information of the footage from the ground on his earpiece, he underestimated the repercussions that the Australian team would have to face for their actions. Gould was more concerned about the way he would convey the information to the people on the ground without making it seem like an "overreaction".
Ian Gould, however, also added that the infamous ball tampering scandal was building up for upto 2 to 3 years from before it. The veteran umpire mentioned how Australia had been exhibiting poor on-field behaviour but nothing that could be compared to that day in Cape Town. The English umpire leaned towards the positives as he added that things in Australian cricket changed for the better after this controversy.
As the story unfolded of the ball-tampering incident that took place in Newlands, details emerged of how young Cameron Bancroft was influenced by vice-captain David Warner to indulge in the unethical practice. Captain Steve Smith also admitted how he had not done enough to stop this unethical act. Warner and Smith were banned from the game for a year and were banned from all leadership roles for two years. Cameron Bancroft was banned from the game for nine months. All the 3 cricketers eventually made comebacks after serving their periods. Steve Smith smashed 774 runs in the 2019 Ashes and helped Australia retain the urn. David Warner could not strike form in the Ashes but revived himself by the end of the year to win himself an Alan Border medal at the Australian Cricketers' Awards.
The revival of Australian cricket following this controversy has been documented in The Test docuseries on Amazon Prime Video, which was released on March 12.