David Warner was one of the three Australia players suspended in the ball-tampering scandal. (Getty Images)
David Warner was one of the three Australia players suspended in the ball-tampering scandal. (Getty Images)

The ball-tampering scandal in March this year at Cape Town that led to 12-month suspensions of then Australia skipper Steven Smith and David Warner, and a nine-month ban on Cameron Bancroft created ripples in the global cricket fraternity. Justin Langer, who was appointed coach after Darren Lehmann retired from the post in the wake of the scandal, is keen on having a chat with Warner to hear his side of the story.

“I think back to what I saw. He just seemed at that time so angry,” Langer told Fox Cricket commentator Mark Howard on his podcast ‘The Howie Games’.

“And that doesn’t make sense. I can’t wait to have my first sit down with Davey and just ask him, ‘what led to that point mate where you seemed so grumpy with life.’ Because we’ve just got to keep reminding ourselves how much we love the game.”

Bancroft has less than four months to serve. Langer, who earlier coached Western Australia, said Bancroft became “like one of his sons” during their time together in Perth. When news of the incident broke, the close bond made it tough for Langer to digest. “I flicked the tele on just before the break. They have this replay and all I can see is this hand with something, which was obviously sandpaper, and I recognise the hand because Cam Bancroft has got really big hands.”

“Cameron Bancroft is like one of my sons! I told Gracie (daughter) to ‘just pray that isn’t Cameron’, and she said, ‘what do you mean?’ And I said, ‘just pray’.”

Langer was visibly perturbed by the scandal. “I was angry, I was sad, I was sad for Cameron and Australian cricket and I just knew it was going to have a big impact.”

Langer’s first Test as Australia coach will be in the UAE where Australia will play two Tests and three T20Is against Pakistan next month.