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Australia Ball-Tampering Scandal

Smith, Bancroft comments won't hurt Warner's chances of international return: Roberts

Cricket Australia chief Kevin Roberts denied explosive revelations about the ball-tampering scandal had isolated David Warner and made it untenable for him for international return.

Both Cameron Bancroft and Steve Smith have given interviews in recent days as they re-emerge into public life after the incident in South Africa.

Observers have interpreted their tell-all comments as effectively throwing the divisive Warner under the bus.

"In those comments, he has buried Dave Warner," former Australian opener Michael Slater said of the Bancroft interview in which he blamed him as the instigator of the plot.

Read: Bancroft reveals Warner asked him to tamper with ball in Cape Town Test

Bancroft claimed he went along "to fit in" and because he "didn't know any better".

Last week Smith also opened up about the incident, distancing himself from the plot while admitting he failed as a captain by turning a blind eye.

Roberts said the timing of the interviews wasn't ideal, but he denied they impacted Warner's chance of being brought back into the Australian fold.

"I don't know if it does (make it harder for Warner). Our focus is to work with Dave, who I spoke to about three days ago, on his integration plan when he is eligible for selection again," Roberts told SEN sports radio in Melbourne.

"Our focus is on how we proactively look forward and work with the players, rather than be concerned with what has happened in the past."

Read: Bancroft confesses considering walking away from cricket in an open letter to his former self

Meanwhile Darren Lehmann, who was coach at the time but stepped down in the aftermath of the vitriolic fallout, said Bancroft should have talked to him or other staff if he felt suffocated by the pressure.

"Yeah he could've and should've come to us," he told Macquarie Sports Radio, where he is commentating on the third Test.

"At the end of the day it was a mistake -- we know that. A severe mistake made by the guys and a lot of people have suffered one way or the other through that. We know it shouldn't have happened, but it did."

Lehmann added that Smith should have had "more control" over the situation.

"Steve decided to turn a blind eye -- I still can't understand the pressures of captaining your country, it's quite high you would think," he said.

Smith and Warner were banned for a year from international and domestic cricketwhile Bancroft was suspended for nine months. He is due to make his return this weekend.

Warner is yet to respond to the latest revelations and former Australian wicketkeeper Adam Gilchrist, who conducted the interviews with Bancroft and Smith for Fox Sports, urged him to give his side of the story.

"There's no doubt Davey Warner would be feeling so isolated at the moment," said Gilchrist.

"I would encourage Dave to come out wherever and just be honest and as open as you need to be to get back to playing cricket."

#SAvAUS#3rd Test#South Africa v Australia 2018#Australia#South Africa