“I’m Cameron. I play cricket. Yeah, I made a really poor mistake. I’m really sorry for that. I will come and say G’day, say hello, shaking your hands, signing your stuff. I will go out there and have fun for Durham Cricket.’’

CAMERON BANCROFT has sinned. Through the media at a press conference at Emirates Riverside yesterday he addressed the Durham Cricket fans.

It reads more of an introduction at a meeting of gamblers, alcoholics or addicts than words from a world-class batsman.

The Australian spoke with a freshness, an honesty after training with his new team-mates, who he will lead this summer as the new captain of the county.

Bancroft has served his suspension, a nine-month ban imposed for ball tampering while playing Test cricket for Australia in South Africa. There was no mention of sandpaper yesterday.

He returned to the sport he loves by rattling out some big scores for Perth Scorchers and Western Australia.

Now he aims to transfer that form to the County Championship. And from there? There’s an Ashes series in England coming up in August….

“It's exciting,’’ he reflected. “It's an opportunity here to play, the aspirations to play Test cricket are certainly in my mind and where I would love to be one day. But I'm here right now and I'll walk out on the field a Durham player. I just look forward to playing cricket, having fun, enjoying it, because that's why I'm here.

“An international recall would mean a lot to me, definitely. I also know that I've got a lot of great things in my life, even just playing club cricket back at home in Perth, it's a game that you can get really single-minded and absorbed in your pursuits, at the forefront of it all is just the enjoyment.

“If I do that I know the results will hopefully take care of themselves.’’

Bancroft will lead Durham out this morning in Chester-le-Street. He missed last week’s opener at the behest of Western Australia as he had to attend an end of season awards dinner.

Durham took first punt on Bancroft, announcing his signing during his ban before anyone in his homeland took a punt.

Since he was appointed skipper there’s been some backlash from members. Bancroft was in the media eye on a more magnified scale when the ball tampering scandal unfolded.

He took a low profile, while the other two miscreants, Steve Smith and David Warner, were more high profile.

“Ultimately it’s about making runs out in the middle,’’ he admitted. “No doubt, all the Durham fans, if I am scoring bucket loads of runs for the club, I’m sure they will definitely be happy, whether it’s me or another player.

“I am ready for the reaction that may come; it is what it is. I can’t change how people are going to feel and react. That’s completely up to them and I respect that. As long as I am really enjoying and focused on what I can control, that’s all that matters.’’

Bancroft is new to captaincy. He’s never led a team before this morning when Durham take on Sussex: “I haven't had a lot of experience of being a captain at first class level, all great captains at some point started captaining zero games of cricket. That's where I'm at now, and I'm just looking forward to learning about my team-mates, being part of this cricket club. I look forward to being part of the future of the club.’’

He hopes his charges will listen to him and take on board the experiences he has harshly learned over recent times. Bancroft breached the subject of his ban and fall out when he met his team-mates in preparation for today’s game.

He said: “I will be really positive around the place, giving my time, listening to my team-mates and being adaptable and willing to change, learning and the most important thing is what you do with your own performance – hopefully they gel together to allow me to be the best leader I can be.’’

And as for taking on board a lesson or two?

“Jeez, (I’ve learned) thousands of lessons. I think it’s too hard to really put my finger on one specific point but it’s a journey filled with ups and downs.

“It’s like climbing a mountain and you get to a point and stop and look down and realise how far up you are. I think life is a mountain that never ends and throughout that journey you reflect and the chance to do that has been a very rewarding part of the journey.’’

Bancroft admitted he did ponder whether cricket was for him during his ban. He turned to yoga and was heading home from a teaching exam when he doubted he had a future in the sport he loves. Those thoughts didn’t last long.

The journey he’s been on since that day comes to the Riverside today for Captain Bancroft.

He admitted of the captaincy role: “I'm, thrilled, absolutely pumped about it. I know that it's going to be complex, I'm going to have to be really adaptable and open to learning. Certainly in Western Australian cricket back home we've got really strong values and it's really hard cricket over there. I've played under some great leaders in the past. I look forward to seeing how those things you learn come out of yourself as leader.’’

He added: “Marcus North (Durham’s director of cricket) captained Western Australia for a number of years and my first couple of one-day games he was captain and a very good leader.

“Adam Vogues was the captain for most of my first-class career, he was an excellent captain, a great tactician and an absolute gun.

“During my time in the Australian cricket team Steve Smith was an awesome leader as well. All those people had great qualities but I think ultimately they led by example really well with their skills. If I can do that I feel I'll be giving to me team really well.’’

There is a new look at Durham Cricket, with North taking control, and James Franklin coaching the team.

Bancroft reserved thanks for North and his role in enticing him to the North-East: “He was really important. He was a team-mate when he was back at Western Australia. He was a guy I looked up to as a player.

“In Northy’s last season, we opened the batting together which was absolutely awesome. He has had a great career, he is a good mate and I am looking forward to sharing this time and journey with him here at Durham. The opportunity he and the club have given me, I am very grateful for.’’