CAMERON BANCROFT admits he has taken his cricket sabbatical to mature and develop.

Speaking to the media at Emirates Riverside as he starts a new chapter of his career, the Australian revealed he spent his time wisely to reflect.

Banned for nine months for ball tampering after he was caught using sandpaper to alter the ball during Australia’s Test in South Africa, Bancroft will take up the Durham captaincy when his new side take on Sussex.

He admitted: “I've learned a lot about myself, I think being able to take time to detach myself from cricket was something that I found a lot of joy in.

“To know that the identity and person I created from being a professional cricketer, a game which I love, I think I was just able to connect a lot with different parts of the community, meet a lot of great people.

“Turning that event from South Africa into a positive was something I was really proud of and to have that opportunity to grow as a person, you'd be silly not to take those steps forward.’’