BANNED BANCROFT BACK IN THE GAME
HURRICANES V SCORCHERS
THE eyes of the cricketing world will be on Cameron Bancroft tonight and Perth Scorchers coach Adam Voges is confident the exiled Test opener is mentally ready to return.
Bancroft’s nine-month ban for his role in the balltampering scandal in South Africa has expired and he is expected to be rushed immediately back into the Scorchers side for its clash against the unbeaten Hurricanes at UTAS Stadium.
The “sandpaper gate” scandal was again brought to light following a Channel 7 interview featuring Bancroft aired on Boxing Day during the Test, but despite the storm that followed Voges has no doubt the top-order star can block out the external noise and focus on getting back to playing good cricket.
“He has paid his penance now, worked really hard over the last nine months and I know he is itching to get back out there and play,” Voges said.
“If anything, the last nine months have taught him to not worry about external noise, he is just focusing on what he can control which is going out and preparing for a game for us.
“It has been a long nine months, there have been some good times and tough times, but he is through that now and is looking forward to getting back out there.
“In terms of him preparing to play, that was never going to be an issue. He works as hard as anyone I know in terms of trying to improve.
“Yes he hasn’t played a high-level game but the way he has gone about it and prepared, he is going as well as he can be.
“He just needs the opportunity out in the middle now.”
Perth, a powerhouse of the competition since the inception of the BBL, dropped its opening two matches before bouncing back with a dominant performance against Adelaide on Boxing Day.
Voges hopes that victory can be the catalyst for the side to kickstart its tournament.
“Nice to get on the board after a couple of tough losses on the road, we played really well against the Strikers and we will certainly take a bit of confidence out of that.”