Australian batsman Cameron Bancroft was among the three cricketers who were temporarily banned by Cricket Australia for their involvement in the 2018 Australian ball-tampering controversy in South Africa. While Bancroft was banned for 9 months, Australian captain and vice-captain Steve Smith and David Warner were handed a 12-month ban from international and domestic cricket by their cricket governing body. The trio made their Test return together in August 2019 for the first Ashes Test match in England.
As evidenced by the recent documentary The Test, the three cricketers were subjected to all kinds of chants and boos from an unforgiving Edgbaston crowd upon stepping onto the field on Day 1. Cameron Bancroft recalled the atmosphere after he recently relived those moments through The Test. In an interview with Sportsmail, the cricketer said he actually expected English fans to hurl abuses at them and described those chants of having a certain “big mob-mentality” in them.
Cameron Bancroft also said that while he and David Warner both had to deal with some hostility in that series, Steve Smith probably faced the “stiff end” of English crowds. Bancroft added that the crowds were slightly more “insensitive” towards Steve Smith, but also claimed that Smith “wouldn’t have had it any other way” as he loves the challenge. As evidenced from his performance, Steve Smith thrived under pressure and scored 774 runs across the four Ashes Tests to emerge as the leading run-scorer of the series.
While Steve Smith was the star of Australia’s Ashes retaining campaign in England, Cameron Bancroft and David Warner struggled to score runs in swinging English conditions. Bancroft was dropped from the third Test after a string of low scores in the first two matches. David Warner played all five Tests scoring 95 runs at a meagre average of 9.50.