Cameron Bancroft
Cameron Bancroft (AFP Photo)

After returning from a nine-month ban, Cameron Bancroft has rediscovered his love for cricket and even developing a deeper appreciation while reflecting on what transpired. (ALSO READ: Can BBL-powered Australia surprise India?)

Last year, Bancroft, alongside Steven Smith and David Warner, was banned for indulging in ball-tampering during the Newlands Test against South Africa.

Bancroft’s ban ended late December following which he made a comeback through Big Bash League and then, the wicketkeeper-batsman marked his return to first-class cricket via a patient half-century for Western Australia in the ongoing Sheffield Shield.

“I think I love the game far more authentically now,” Bancroft said in an in interview to ABC Grandstand. “It’s the enjoyment of being there with your mates, and just the little things, like the feeling of the ball hitting the middle of your bat, the banter with teammates, helping your mates at training.”

“I love going down to (his WA Premier club) Willeton, I take my dog thrower down and throw to the guys. I think those little things about the game, at times you can get caught in some unhealthy values playing at the highest level. At the end of the day it’s a game of cricket. It’s nice that that’s why I play the game, and I definitely know that for sure,” he added.

In December, Bancroft came under heavy criticism for his tell-all interview to Adam Gilchrist where he gave his version of the ball-tampering incident. With his ban nearing its end, the 26-year-old had claimed it was Warner’s idea to use sandpaper.

However, Bancroft has defended his interview saying, “I find it hard to understand a little bit, because I was going to need to speak at some point. But I didn’t want to just talk for the sake of talking.

“Because the game in general, and life in general, there are messages that are far greater than just yourself to portray. I felt like I had some really important learnings to share with people, which is why I wrote my letter and which is why I did the interview with Gilly. I felt like there were some really powerful lessons I learnt in my journey that I wanted others to connect and share with.

“If other people were triggered by that, that’s their battle to face. But if I was able to touch people through parts of my journey and to help them work through their lives, that was my sole intention, and for that I was proud of myself,” he said.