Last Updated: 25/03/19 2:19pm
Cameron Bancroft being appointed captain of Durham’s County Championship and 50-over sides is a “strange decision”, according to Phillip DeFreitas.
Bancroft returned to cricket in December following a nine-month ban by Cricket Australia for his part in the Australian ball-tampering scandal in South Africa in March last year.
The 26-year-old is set to join Durham from Western Australia in the summer, and will take over as captain of their County Championship and Royal London One-Day Cup sides following the retirement of Paul Collingwood.
Former England cricketer Darren Gough labelled the decision a “disgrace”, adding that Bancroft could be unavailable for the county at the beginning of the season due to potential international commitments.
DeFreitas said of the appointment: “It’s hard to make a comment on that because I’m not involved in Durham. But it seems a strange decision really, especially as he’s not there for the first game because as Darren rightly said, I think there is an Australia A tour or something like that.
“So there’s a possibility he might be picked and then if he’s in good form then there’s every chance he might be picked for the Australian Ashes tour as well.”
That Ashes tour will see Troy Cooley as the Baggy Greens’ bowling coach, an appointment Cricket Australia unveiled on Monday.
Cooley took charge of England’s bowling in 2005 when they beat Australia at home for their first Ashes win since 1986-87, but DeFreitas says too much time has passed for his involvement to be a concern for the hosts ahead of this summer’s Ashes.
“It’s strange really, because obviously Troy Cooley was England’s bowling coach,” DeFreitas said.
“I think where he’s going to be good for the Australian team is the English conditions and the grounds they play the Test matches on.
“But he was England’s bowling coach a while ago, and it’s different players now so I don’t think it will make much of a difference.”