Cameron Bancroft will be eligible to play cricket for Australia again sometime in November or thereabouts, after he is done serving the nine-month ban Cricket Australia handed him for his role in the infamous Cape Town, South Africa ball-tampering incident.
He will need to earn selection of course and since he is not of the stature of Steve Smith and David Warner, his inclusion for any Australian side in any cricket format is far from a foregone conclusion.
Smith and Warner will have to wait another three months before their one-year bans expire, and it is likely they will see the oval before Bancroft, as they were established contributors.
Nine months or a year away from the game could find all three in a situation similar to that of pro golfer Tiger Woods, who while he has been making progress in his rehabilitation from physical issues, he does not seem the dominant player he once was and he goes against younger players who grew up emulating and idolising him. Those younger players are not intimidated, either.
Smith and Warner could expect to encounter similar pains getting back to the levels they previously occupied. Neither was what could be called dominant in Caribbean Premier League play and both will have to deal with incessant questions about the incident for the remaining balance of their careers.
Former international cricketer Steve Waugh said as much when he was queried on the trio’s future recently.
Waugh believes the Australian cricket community is willing to forgive and move on, but that none of the three will immediately pick up where they left off.
It’s not going to be as easy as people think,” Waugh told Fox Sports News. “You’re out of the game for 12 months, the game does move on. You lose that aura of invincibility about you. You get a bit more fragile, a bit of self-doubt creeping in, so it’s going to be a real challenge for all three of those players to come back strong.”