Cameron Bancroft made waves yesterday when he revealed David Warner asked him to tamper with the ball in South Africa and while the cricket world latched onto the juicy titbit, there were more glaring admissions in the banned star's bombshell interview.
In addition to saying he felt pressured to comply with the vice-captain's instructions because he wanted to fit in, Bancroft's naivety about the whole situation was laid bare by his failure to understand why the Australian public was so fixated on his use of sandpaper.
After the opening batsman was caught in the act in Cape Town, he and Steve Smith addressed the media at the end of the day where Bancroft said he used yellow tape to rough up the ball. That was later proven to be a lie that made the entire situation worse, because it was that deceit — not just the act of ball tampering — that contributed to the lengthy bans handed out to all three players.
But in his interview with Adam Gilchrist on Fox Cricket yesterday, Bancroft revealed he couldn't understand why cricket lovers were so hung up on what object he actually used to change the condition of the ball rather than the act of ball tampering itself.
"That's actually really interesting that, because I obviously … I lied about it, which is the truth, but for me, the whole issue (of ball tampering) I felt got forgotten about," Bancroft said.
"The issue was actually the fact that I went out with an intentional decision to tamper with the ball and I felt like that was forgotten a little bit because people cared what I used on the ball more than the actual reason behind why I was using it, which I found really, really fascinating.
"I wasn't sure if, maybe in society there's a connection between, I don't know, just the truth I guess.
"The 'why' didn't change but I guess that really hurt people which was a mistake that I made.
"I guess I went around in a circle and there was a moment where I was able to rectify that and be honest about that (using sandpaper), but it was a really fascinating moment in those few days before I came back and did my press conference in Perth."
Former Aussie coach Darren Lehmann, who stood down after the ball tampering scandal, said he could understand why the public reacted so savagely to the incident and revealed why Bancroft lied in his and Smith's now infamous press conference.
"I totally agree with the public feeling about that. You heart drops, your heart sinks," Lehmann told Macquarie Sports Radio.
"He even said 'tape' in the press conference and I asked him about that later and he said he just panicked in the press conference."
Smith and Bancroft were slammed for their naivety in facing the press in South Africa after being caught cheating as they were accused of not understanding the severity of what they'd done and the fallout that would ensue.
Bancroft's revelation about his inability to understand why people cared as much about his lie as they did about his act of breaking the rules reflects that troubling naivety.
Veteran broadcaster Tim Lane said it sounded as if Bancroft was "confused" and found it difficult to fathom why he would be so perplexed by people being upset at him saying he used tape when he actually used sandpaper.
"I'm surprised to hear him expressing surprise that people were taken by the fact that sandpaper was used because there's a crassness about taking sandpaper out onto the ground to use it on a cricket ball during a test match," Lane told Macquarie Sports Radio.
"I'm not at all surprised that people were surprised and upset by that."
Bancroft said he "didn't know any better" when he agreed to follow Warner's lead because he was desperate to feel valued within the Australian team, and would have felt bad if he'd rejected the request because he believed that would have been letting his team down.
But Lehmann said he wished the West Australian would have come to him or any of the support staff if he felt suffocated by the pressure of what he felt was expected of him
"Yeah he could've and should've come to us," Lehmann said. "At the end of the day it was a mistake — we know that.
"(It was) a severe mistake made by the guys and a lot of people have suffered one way or the other through that. We know it shouldn't have happened, but it did."