Disgraced Australia player Cameron Bancroft yesterday said he was a vastly different person to the one caught ball-tampering and had considered walking away from cricket to become a yoga teacher.
The opener received a nine-month ban for his part in the scandal in South Africa that rocked the sport, in which he used sandpaper to try to alter the ball.
Then-captain Steve Smith and his deputy, David Warner, were suspended for a year.
A day after Smith re-emerged into public life with a news conference in Sydney, Bancroft has also broken his silence a week ahead of his ban running out.
He did so in the form of a long letter addressed to his former self, published in the West Australian newspaper, describing his emotional journey since.
In it, Bancroft describes the influence Australia coach Justin Langer has had on him, along with West Australian mentor Adam Voges.
He said a crucial moment was Voges asking him to justify why he should be on a pre-season trip to Brisbane by the Western Warriors Sheffield Shield team.
“On your way to present your case to your coach, you realize this is the moment when you begin to become OK with the thought of never having cricket as part of your life again,” he wrote.
“Until you are able to acknowledge that you are Cameron Bancroft, the person who plays cricket as a profession, and not Cameron Bancroft the cricketer, you will not be able to move forward,” he said. “This will become a defining moment for you.”
Yoga became an important part of his life in exile while dealing with an absence of cricket, to the extent that he considered quitting the game to become of a teacher of the discipline.
“Maybe cricket isn’t for you, you’ll ask yourself ... will you return? Yoga will be such a fulfilling experience,” he wrote.
Bancroft ultimately decided to pursue his cricket career and is due to make his comeback in the Big Bash Twenty20 League for the Perth Scorchers on Sunday next week.
“While you do not look that different, on the inside you are a vastly different man to the bloke who made that mistake in South Africa,” he added in the letter. “You know you cannot say sorry enough, but actually it is time you allow your cricket to be about what you have learnt and use this opportunity to make a great impact.”
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