New Delhi: Australian captain Steve Smith broke down while addressing the media after his arrival in Sydney stating that he is sorry for his actions and is absolutely devastated.
Smith, who was banned for 12 months from international cricket by Cricket Australia for his involvement in the ball tampering row, said there is no one to be blamed except him.
“I don’t blame anyone,” said a teary-eyed Smith. “I’m the captain of the Australian team. It’s on my watch and I take responsibility for what happened last Saturday.”
He went on to add, “Cricket is the greatest sport in the world. It’s been my life and I hope it can be again. I’m sorry and I’m absolutely devastated.”
“If any good can come of this, if there can be a lesson to others then I hope I can be a force for change. I know I’ll regret this for the rest of my life. I’m absolutely gutted. I hope in time I can earn back respect and forgiveness,” he said.
“It hurts … I’m deeply sorry. I love the game of cricket. I love entertaining young kids … I just want to say sorry for the pain I’ve brought to Australia, to the fans and the public,” added the 28-year-old.
Earlier, Cameron Bancroft, who was banned for nine months asked for forgiveness after arriving in Australia. The opening batsman addressed the media at the WACA, Perth and added that he feels like he has let everyone down in Australia.
The 25-year-old , who was caught on camera using a sticky tape to alter the condition of the ball during the Cape Town Test, said, “I want to say that I’m very sorry … I’m very disappointed and I regret my actions … It is something I will regret for the rest of my life.”
Bancroft admitted that he lied to the umpires about the sandpaper. “I lied. I lied about the sandpaper. I panicked in that situation and I’m very sorry … I feel like I’ve let everyone down in Australia.”
On Wednesday, Smith and vice captain David Warner were banned by Cricket Australia (CA) for 12 months each for their involvement in the controversy that erupted last Saturday during the Cape Town Test match.
Warner, the chief conspirator of the ball tampering row, also apologised to fans and said he took responsibility for his part in a ball-tampering scandal that has shocked the cricketing world.
“Mistakes have been made which have damaged cricket,” he said on Instagram in breaking his silence on the incident in the third Test against South Africa last weekend.