Cameron Bancroft: Durham sign Australia opener for 2019 season

Cameron Bancroft
Cameron Bancroft (left) and captain Steve Smith were banned by Australia, along with David Warner

Australia opener Cameron Bancroft, who was banned for nine months after admitting to ball-tampering during a Test match, will join Durham for 2019.

The 25-year-old admitted to using sandpaper on the ball in South Africa in March, and his 2018 deal with Somerset was subsequently cancelled.

Despite his ban, he was given special dispensation to play for Willetton in Western Australia in May.

He will be available for Durham in all formats of the county game next year.

Durham head coach Jon Lewis said: "Cameron provides us with a very talented overseas signing who can bulk up our batting line-up and help us compete for silverware.

"[New Zealander] Tom Latham has done a great job for us over the past two seasons but we anticipate him being unavailable due to the World Cup in 2019, therefore we were delighted to be able to bring Cameron in."

Bancroft said: "With the Ashes and World Cup both being played in the UK in 2019, it will be a huge summer of cricket. I am grateful for the opportunity."

Durham are eighth in County Championship Division Two after eight four-day matches and bottom of the One-Day Cup North section, but are top of the North Group in the T20 Blast.

What happened in South Africa?

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Watch: Bancroft and Smith admit ball-tampering plan

Bancroft had been set to join Somerset as an overseas player this season before the incident during the third Test of Australia's tour of South Africa.

Australia captain Steve Smith and vice-captain David Warner were both banned for a year by Cricket Australia for their roles, while Bancroft was suspended for nine months.

Pictures showed Bancroft take an item out of his trouser pocket and rub the ball with it.

Together with Smith, he initially claimed the item used had been yellow tape, which CA later described as "misleading public comments" when it was confirmed as having been sandpaper.

Smith admitted the team's "leadership group" had a plan, carried out by Bancroft, to tamper with the ball to "get an advantage".

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Australia ball-tampering row: Simon Hughes explains what happened in Cape Town

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