As cricket chiefs held crisis talks over the ball-tampering scandal engulfing the sport, former England captain Michael Vaughan came up with another allegation on Steve Smith-led Australian side. Vaughan said he was "pretty sure" Australia were ball-tampering during their 4-0 Ashes series victory last year. "I'm pretty sure that it was going on during the Ashes series. But it wasn't the reason why England lost 4-0. They still would have lost that series," Vaughan told BBC.
Australia captain Steve Smith said it was the first time it had happened under his leadership but Vaughan, who led England to Ashes glory in 2005, believes it has been going on for "quite a while".
"I can't believe that this hasn't happened before. I look at the amount of tape some of the fielders have worn, particularly during the Ashes series, mid-on, mid-off. (You) don't have to name names but they know who they are," the former England skipper said.
Bancroft used a strip of yellow sticky tape he had covered with dirt granules to illegally scratch the rough side of the ball, thereby facilitating more swing for bowlers.
Vaughan said Australia had broken an unwritten rule by taking an object onto the pitch to tamper with the ball.
"You'd see the ball get bounced into the rough to create reverse swing, you'd see sweets in the mouth, you'd see saliva put on the ball to try and keep that shine for longer," said Vaughan.
"Is that right? Many will say not, but that's what has happened in the game of cricket for many, many years and will continue to happen, because it's very hard to control.
"One unwritten rule in the game is that you don't take a piece or an object out there to tamper with the ball, and I'm pretty sure the Australians and the players involved in that leadership group will face the consequences."
Vaughan does not agree with suggestions that Smith should be handed a life ban but believes the legacy of this Australia side will be forever tainted by the scandal.
"It doesn't really matter what they achieve in their careers," he said. "They're going be known as a team that cheated."
(With AFP inputs)