Durham CCC sign controversial 'ball tampering' Australian
Controversial Australian batsman Cameron Bancroft has been snapped up by Durham CCC for the 2019 season.
The Riverside outfit have swooped to land the Aussie international, with Tom Latham set to be unavailable due to World Cup duty.
Bancroft was banned for nine months by Cricket Australia in March for admitting that he used sandpaper on the ball during a test match against South Africa.
During the Ashes series of 2017, Bancroft also rose to fame with a bizarre press conference in which he recalled a tale of being head butted by England man Jonny Bairstow.
His record with the bat, though, is unquestioned. And Durham have pulled off somewhat of a coup to land the player, who is currently banned.
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A statement confirming the signing, said: "The Australian opener will sign as the club’s overseas player and be available in all formats for the full campaign, subject to international selection."
Coach Jon Lewis admits he's delighted with the deal.
"Cameron provides us with a very talented overseas signing who can bulk up our batting line up and help us compete for silverware.
"Tom Latham has done a great job for us over the past two seasons but we anticipate Tom being unavailable due to the World Cup in 2019, therefore we were delighted to be able to bring Cameron in.
"Cameron is a talented top order batsman and a great talent across all formats, he has the appetite and temperament for scoring big runs."
The 25-year-old has featured in eight test matches and opened the batting against England in the Ashes last year.
Bancroft has also featured for Australia at T20 level and is a key member of the Perth Scorchers in the Big Bash.
The player says he cannot wait to get started in the North East.
"I am excited to join Durham for the 2019 county season. Having played at Emirates Riverside in 2017 I know what a great place it is to play cricket.
"With the Ashes and ODI World Cup both being played in the UK in 2019 it will be a huge summer of cricket. I am grateful for the opportunity and I can’t wait to get over and make an impact with Durham."