Banned test opener Cameron Bancroft has won the right to play WA club cricket this year – and it all happened while he was getting his yoga fix.
Bancroft’s hopes of lining up for club side Willetton next season rested on the result of an extraordinary vote of the 16 WACA clubs on Monday night.
The 25-year-old is currently serving a nine-month suspension from Cricket Australia for his role in the ball-tampering scandal in South Africa.
That CA ban ends in late December, at which point Bancroft will be free to play for WA and Australia again.
But under WA Premier Cricket rules, any CA ban automatically extended to WA club ranks, meaning Bancroft wasn’t allowed to play for his local team Willetton while serving his CA suspension.
The situation is different on the other side of the country, where fellow banned test players David Warner and Steve Smith are free to play club cricket in NSW while serving their 12-month CA suspensions.
The WADCC has granted Cameron Bancroft an exemption to play Premier Cricket for Willetton during the 2018-19 season. @WAPremCricket
— WACA (@WACA_Cricket) May 14, 2018
The 16 WACA clubs met on Monday night to vote on whether to grant Bancroft a special exemption to play for Willetton while he served his CA ban.
Bancroft only needed a simple majority to be given the green light, and the clubs voted in favour.
WACA chief executive Christina Matthews wasn’t allowed to reveal the exact numbers of the vote, but said it was a “very strong majority”.
“You could say there was a fair amount of love,” Ms Matthews said of the mood of the room.
“I think there was a fair amount of empathy for the situation he was in.”
Bancroft wasn’t present for the vote, with Matthews revealing the right-hander was at yoga.
Great decision. Cameron Bancroft needs to get back playing the game he loves.
— Hezza (@Hezza7) May 14, 2018
“He’ll be very excited,” Matthews said.
“Cameron more than anything wants to play cricket here.
“He would have had the opportunity to go interstate if it hadn’t have been approved, but I don’t think that would have sat well with him.”
As part of Bancroft’s punishment from CA, he must complete 100 hours of community service.
Matthews said that line of work will be finalised over the coming week.
“He’s really committed to doing that in a really genuine and authentic way, not just as a ticking the box exercise,” Matthews said.