Durham appoint Cameron Bancroft as captain for the upcoming season
He returned to action post the 12-month ban in the BBL's recently concluded season.
Updated - Mar 22, 2019 10:07 am
Ahead of the upcoming County Championship and the One-Day cup, English county side Durham have appointed Australian batsman Cameron Bancroft as their captain. The Australian opener returned to high-profile cricket in last December after his nine-month ban came to an end. The opening batsman was suspended alongside his senior teammates David Warner and Steve Smith in the wake of the ball-tampering scandal in South Africa.
Bancroft returned to action through the Big Bash League (BBL) in Australia where he played for Perth Scorchers. The right-handed batsman scored 298 runs in 11 outings at an average of over 33 and strike-rate of more than 124. He then played in the Sheffield Shield, Australia’s premier first-class competition. The 26-year-old scored an unbeaten 138 during his first-class return with Western Australia last month. So far, he played eight Test matches scoring 402 runs at an average of 39.92 after making his debut in the last Ashes.
Cameron Bancroft had signed for Durham last August as their overseas player and agreed to play in 2019 once his ban ended. Before that, Somerset had pulled out of their deal to sign Bancroft as an overseas player last season following the ball-tampering scandal. He, nonetheless, has experience of playing in England, having plied his trade in Division Two of the Championship with Gloucestershire.
James Franklin welcomes Bancroft
Former New Zealand all-rounder James Franklin, the lead high-performance coach, stated that the club is delighted to have signed Bancroft. Franklin also said that the club is confident Bancroft can lead the ‘exciting young Durham dressing room’.
“We’re delighted to have Cameron with us for the season and we’re confident he has the attributes to lead this exciting young Durham dressing room. He has invaluable experience at the top level and has enjoyed a successful spell in England before, during his time with Gloucestershire,” Franklin said in a released statement from the County.
“He’s proven since returning to first-class cricket over the last few months that he has the mental toughness, skill and attitude to excel at the highest level. I’m sure he will relish the challenge we have at Durham this season,” Franklin added.
Bancroft replaces former England skipper Paul Collingwood as Durham skipper. The Australian will miss Durham’s championship opener at Derbyshire, which starts on April 5. In his absence, Alex Lees will don the captain’s hat. Bancroft will play his first game in the second week of April against Sussex.