Cameron Bancroft hit an unbeaten and match-winning 151 on his one-day debut for Durham as the disgraced Australia batsman started to repay the English county’s faith in him.
“Hopefully (I’m winning the crowd over). I’m just going out there to enjoy my cricket and to enjoy playing for Durham. Hopefully, making some runs and if that’s going to win them over, fantastic,” he said.
Bancroft was banned for nine months after being caught in the Australia ball-tampering scandal during their tour of South Africa last year
The ‘sandpaper-gate’ incident during the Newlands Test against South Africa also led to Bancroft’s Australia team-mates Steve Smith and David Warner receiving year-long suspensions.
After returning in Australia’s Big Bash League in December, and playing a role in the back end of Western Australia’s current Sheffield Shield campaign, Bancroft has joined up with Durham with a view to making Australia’s Ashes squad.
Durham, now under a new Australian director of cricket in Marcus North, attracted criticism in some quarters when they recruited Bancroft.
But the 26-year-old was controversially appointed Durham captain and, making his maiden limited overs appearance for the northeast side, Bancroft piled up the runs in their 72-run win at home to Northamptonshire in a One-Day Cup match at Chester-le-Street on Wednesday.
“Winning always creates a nice feeling,” Bancroft told the Northern Echo.
“The guys have been working hard so it’s nice to start this tournament really well and personally it was nice to get some runs.”
Bancroft, who played in the 2017-18 Ashes, plundered five sixes and eight fours in a 188-minute stay at the crease.
Together with Michael Richardson, he put on 208 for the fourth-wicket before the latter was ousted in the final over.
Durham went on to score 342 for five from their 50 overs.