Sunday Tasmanian - - Front Page - ADAM SMITH

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.”

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