Image courtesy of: Zimbio
Steve Smith broke down during an emotional apology over the ball tampering scandal that rocked the cricketing community.
Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft were all indicted in the incident. As a result, Smith and Warner were banned for 12 months by Cricket Australia while Bancroft was suspended for nine months.
In addition to this, Smith will not be permitted to captain Australia for two years, while Warner won’t be considered for leadership roles ever again.
“I want to, as captain of the Australian cricket team, I take full responsibility,” a teary-eyed Smith was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au. “I made a serious error in judgement.
“It was a failure of leadership, my leadership. I will do everything I can to make up for my mistake and the damage it’s caused.
“If any good is to come from this it can be a lesson for others and 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.”
Smith also admitted that the scandal has not only affected him, but his family as well.
“I say two things, or three things,” he said. “Firstly, I’m deeply sorry. I love the game of cricket, I love entertaining young kids, I love kids wanting to play the great game of cricket that I love.
“The two other things is that, any time you think about making a questionable decision, think about who you’re affecting, you’re affecting your parents.
“To see the way my old man’s been … it hurts. I just want to say I’m sorry for the pain that I’ve brought to Australia and the fans and the public, it’s devastating and I’m truly sorry.
“I hope in time I can earn back respect and forgiveness, I’ve been so privileged and honoured to represent my country and captain the Australian cricket team.
“Cricket is the greatest game in the world. It’s been my life, and I hope it can be again. I’m sorry and I’m absolutely devastated.”
While Cricket Australia’s investigation revealed that Warner instructed Bancroft to use sandpaper to alter the condition of the ball, Smith made it clear that he takes full responsibility as captain.
“I’m the captain of the Australian team,” he said. “It’s on my watch and I take responsibility of the actions of what happened last Saturday in Cape Town.”