“Ultimately, every one of us was guilty”: Greg Chappell recalls the controversial Sandpaper Gate between South Africa vs Australia

Rishikesh Sharma
|Published 29/10/2021

Former Australian player Greg Chappell has recalled the infamous sandpaper gate test.

The 2018 test series between South Africa and Australia has to be one of the most controversial test series. It started with a rift between Quinton de Kock and David Warner, but what was about to unfold was way too serious.

During the 3rd day of the 3rd test at Cape Town, something unexpected happened. Bancroft was seen hiding a yellow object in his trousers, which was later confirmed as sandpaper. The idea was to temper the ball, but it could not happen. This created a stir in the cricketing world around the globe.

Cameron Bancroft later admitted about the ball-tempering. “I had discussions with the match officials, I’ve been charged with attempting to change the condition of the ball,” Bancroft said.

“We had a discussion during the [lunch] break and I saw an opportunity to use some tape”

The aftermath of that game was painful for Australian cricket. Bancroft was banned for nine months, whereas Smith & Warner were banned for 12 months. Smith and Warner also missed the IPL 2018 due to their actions. Coach Darren Lehmann stepped down, whereas Tim Paine was appointed the new captain.

Greg Chappell on the Sandpaper scandal

After three years, former Australian cricketer Greg Chappel has recounted the incident. He has described it as the failure of the whole organization, and the team’s environment also played an important part.

“There was a period leading up to Cape Town where quite a few of us had the same feeling.”

“Ultimately, every one of us in the organization was guilty. We all walked past things we shouldn’t have walked past, from top to bottom.”

Chappel also admitted that there were opportunities for the organizations to step up, but no one did.

“There were opportunities to speak up as an organization and we didn’t do it. It may take another generation or two before the crutch of nasty, premeditated sledging is fully abandoned by Australian players.”


About the author
Rishikesh Sharma

Rishikesh Sharma

An engineering graduate and an ardent Sports fan. Rishikesh Sharma is writing about cricket for 3 years now as corporate life didn't suit him. Sourav Ganguly made him fall in love with the game, and players like Brendon McCullum and Gautam Gambhir enhanced it. Apart from cricket, Rishikesh is a huge fan of Liverpool FC. When not watching sports, you will find him riding around Jaipur.

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