Mitch Marsh insists Australia’s T20 World Cup won’t be derailed by fresh claims over Sandpapergate

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Mitch Marsh insists Australia’s T20 World Cup campaign won’t be derailed by explosive fresh claims over Sandpapergate… and backs David Warner to silence his critics as reigning champions look to bounce back after brutal loss against New Zealand

  • Faf du Plessis claimed Aussie team were cheating weeks before Sandpapergate 
  • Former South Africa captain made the explosive allegations in his new book
  • David Warner and Steve Smith were banned for a year as a result 
  • Cameron Bancroft was suspended for nine months for his role in the scandal 
  • Australia lost to New Zealand by 89 runs in their T20 World Cup opener 
  • Click here for all your latest international sports news at Daily Mail Australia 

Mitch Marsh insisted Australia will not be distracted at the T20 World Cup by fresh claims former South Africa captain Faf du Plessis has made in relation to the 2018 sandpaper crisis.

Australia lost their tournament opener to Trans-Tasman rivals New Zealand on Saturday although the hosts and defending champions can get their campaign back on track against Sri Lanka at Perth.

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But Tuesday’s match has been overshadowed by excerpts from Du Plessis’ book in which he details how the Proteas suspected Australia of ball-tampering before they were caught out at Cape Town four years ago.

Mitch Marsh insisted Australia won’t be swayed by renewed claims over the sandpaper scandal that rocked cricket four years ago 

Marsh said: ‘I’m not a big reader, so I’m not sure what’s coming out there. We’ve got a World Cup to focus on as a group. We’re solely focused on that. We’re a really close and tight-knit group.

‘I’m just looking forward to the next couple of weeks.’

Du Plessis, in his soon-to-be released autobiography which is being serialised by News Corp, contends South Africa were suspicious at the amount of reverse swing Australia’s bowlers obtained at Durban.

Former South Africa captain Faf du Plessis revealed the Proteas grew suspicious at the amount of reverse swing Aussie bowlers got in Durban

Former South Africa captain Faf du Plessis revealed the Proteas grew suspicious at the amount of reverse swing Aussie bowlers got in Durban

That prompted Du Plessis and South Africa to watch ‘the second Test…through binoculars, so that we could follow the ball more closely while Australia was fielding’.

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Du Plessis added: ‘When we noticed that the ball was going to David Warner quite often, our changing room must have looked like a birdwatching hide as we peered intently through our binoculars.’

In the third Test, Cameron Bancroft attempted to use sandpaper to rough up one side of the ball before being caught on camera hiding the evidence down his trousers.

Cameron Bancroft and Steve Smith face the music in South Africa after footage emerged of the sandpaper being used to rough the ball up

Cameron Bancroft and Steve Smith face the music in South Africa after footage emerged of the sandpaper being used to rough the ball up

Bancroft (pictured) was caught applying sandpaper to the ball to try to induce reverse swing during the third Test against South Africa in 2018

Bancroft (pictured) was caught applying sandpaper to the ball to try to induce reverse swing during the third Test against South Africa in 2018

David Warner struggled to choke back the tears as he apologised for his role in the sandpaper gate scandal after returning from South Africa

David Warner struggled to choke back the tears as he apologised for his role in the sandpaper gate scandal after returning from South Africa

Bancroft served a nine-month ban and year-long suspensions were given to Steve Smith and David Warner, who as the ringleader of the scandal was hit with a lifetime leadership ban by Cricket Australia.

But CA is considering whether to change its code of conduct to allow Warner to lead the side if Pat Cummins is absent from Tests or ODIs or Aaron Finch has to skip a T20.

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Marsh backed Warner to focus on on-field matters as Australia can ill-afford another slip-up in the Super 12s after a humbling 89-run defeat against the Kiwis that has impacted their net run-rate.

Marsh was out for 16 as Australia lost by 89 runs against New Zealand on Saturday

Marsh was out for 16 as Australia lost by 89 runs against New Zealand on Saturday

Marsh said: ‘He is an incredible person to have around our group. He is a great leader. He has just got so much energy. He is our unofficial team manager, so that probably distracts him more than anything.

‘He has had an amazing career. He has clearly been able to block out a lot of distractions throughout that and that’s what separates the best players in the world from the rest is they’re solely focused on their job.

‘He is vitally important to our team, the way we play. Any time we’ve seen him with his back against the wall, he always stands up for us.’

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