Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins, Lyon and Hazlewood have issued a joint statement, in which the quartet have clarified that they had no knowledge of a foreign substance being used to alter the state of the ball in the infamous Cape Town Test. They asserted that it is time to move on from the incident.
In light of Cameron Bancroft’s controversial comments that suggested that the Australian bowlers ‘knew’ about ball tampering, the quartet of Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood and Nathan Lyon have issued a joint statement clarifying their role in the sequence of events. Since Bancroft’s revelations, journalists and ex-players have accused the aforementioned quartet of having been in the act, but the New South Wales players have rubbished suggestions claiming that they were aware of what was going on.
In a joint statement released on Mitchell Starc’s official website, Starc, Cummins, Hazlewood and Lyon restated that they were innocent, and made it clear that they had no idea that a foreign object was being used to alter the condition of the ball.
“To The Australian Public, We pride ourselves on our honesty. So it’s been disappointing to see that our integrity has been questioned by some journalists and past players in recent days in regard to the Cape Town Test of 2018,” the statement read.
“We have already answered questions many times on this issue, but we feel compelled to put the key facts on the record again:
a) We did not know a foreign substance was taken onto the field to alter the condition of the ball until we saw the images on the big screen at Newlands
b) And to those who, despite the absence of evidence, insist that ‘we must have known’ about the use of a foreign substance simply because we are bowlers, we say this: The umpires during that Test match, Nigel Llong and Richard Illingworth, both very respected and experienced umpires, inspected the ball after the images surfaced on the TV coverage and did not change it because there was no sign of damage.”
The quartet insisted that their innocence does not excuse what happened in Cape Town three years ago, but attested that it was time for the world to move on the saga.
"None of this excuses what happened on the field that day at Newlands. It was wrong and it should never have happened. We’ve all learned valuable lessons and we’d like to think the public can see a change for the better in terms of the way we play, the way we behave and respect the game. Our commitment to improving as people and players will continue. We respectfully request an end to the rumour-mongering and innuendo. It has gone on too long and it is time to move on.”