Ban­croft keen to open with Warner again

Marlborough Express - - FRONT PAGE -

Cameron Ban­croft looks for­ward to the day he can open the bat­ting along­side David Warner again, in­sist­ing there is no bad blood be­tween the pair af­ter he ac­cused the former test vice-cap­tain of lead­ing him astray in Cape Town.

Ban­croft’s crick­et­ing re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion con­tin­ued on Wednes­day night when he scored 59 to lead Perth Scorchers to a six-wicket BBL win over Mel­bourne Stars at the MCG.

It was a wel­come re­turn to form for Ban­croft, who was widely pil­lo­ried for a Box­ing Day in­ter­view sug­gest­ing he ‘‘didn’t know any bet­ter’’ when asked by Warner to in­ter­fere with the ball at New­lands.

Ques­tions re­main whether re­la­tion­ships about will re­main strained when Warner and Steve Smith’s 12-month bans elapse on March 29. But Ban­croft is adamant he and Warner can get along if both are picked for the Ashes, re­veal­ing the pair have stayed in touch dur­ing their ball-tam­per­ing sus­pen­sions.

‘‘Ab­so­lutely. We’re good peo­ple, very hon­est and pas­sion­ate peo­ple,’’ Ban­croft said.

‘‘Dave, like Steve . . . all of us, we’ve all gone through our chal­lenges haven’t we? We’ve all been there for each other.

‘‘I look for­ward to a day like that where I can go and play cricket with Dave again. He’s a qual­ity crick­eter and some­one who has achieved so much in that cricket team. As a player like my­self, you strive on op­por­tu­ni­ties to be around guys like that. We’ve kept in touch. He’s in Bangladesh at the mo­ment, en­joy­ing his cricket.’’

Ban­croft’s re­turn to top-flight cricket af­ter a nine-month sus­pen­sion has co­in­cided with a dras­tic slump for Aus­tralia’s test side, leav­ing it all but cer­tain both Smith and Warner will be wel­comed back for the start of the Ashes.

Whether Ban­croft joins them will de­pend on his per­for­mance in the sec­ond half of the Sh­effield Shield sea­son, with Mar­cus Har­ris, Joe Burns and Matthew Ren­shaw among the con­tenders vy­ing to part­ner Warner at the top of the or­der.

The 26-year-old is un­sure whether the pub­lic is ready to wel­come him back but says he is slowly re­gain­ing a sense of nor­mal­ity.

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