Bancroft faces ball tampering claims as Proteas stretch lead
Cape Town: Australian opening batsman Cameron Bancroft could face tampering claims after being spoken to by umpires about an object in his pocket during Saturday's play in the third Test against South Africa. Television footage appeared to show Bancroft take on object out of his pocket while fielding on the third day of the Test at Newlands.
He was then seen tucking the object down the front of his trousers before he spoke to on-field umpires Nigel Llong and Richard Illingworth.
Shane Warne, the Australian spin bowling great, said on Twitter he was "very disappointed" by the pictures and called on Australia captain Steve Smith to clear up the "mess" in the post-play press conference.
Aiden Markram and AB de Villiers batted South Africa into a strong position, leaving South Africa at 238 for five in their second innings when bad light ended play, an overall lead of 294. The series is tied at one match apiece. Opening batsman Markram made 84 and De Villiers batted with unusual caution to be 51 not out at the close. In a series that has featured several incidents between South African and Australian players, there was an increased security presence after Australian players complained about "disgraceful" behaviour by spectators.
Guards were placed near the stairs leading to the dressing rooms and an Australian security official positioned himself near David Warner, the player most targeted by the crowd. Security officials and police were seen talking to people in the crowd and on at least one occasion took some spectators away.
Markram, out for nought in the first innings, could have completed a "pair" but he was dropped off the fourth ball of the second innings when he edged Mitchell Starc low to the left of Usman Khawaja at gully.