A day after Australian skipper Steve Smith and vice-captain David Warner were banned by Cricket Australia from playing cricket for the country for 12 months for ball-tampering, the very emotional former captain addressed the media in Australia on Thursday.
“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.”, he said while breaking down.
Being the first news conference he addressed in his home country, Smith said, “ I take responsibility for what happened in Cape Town.” He also said the cheating incident would be one that he would not be able to forget in his lifetime.
“ I don't blame anyone. I'm the captain of the Australian team. It's on my watch and I take responsibility for what happened last Saturday,” Smith said.
Apologising to Australia and cricket fans across the world, a teary Smith 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.”
While Smith did not take questions from the media, he spoke briefly about how his actions have taken a toll on his parents.
“Anytime you think about making a questionable decision, think about whom you're affecting,” Smith said.
Earlier on Wednesday, after the Cricket Australia ban on them was announced, Steve Smith and David Warner were banned from the IPL 2018-- a move which is being seen as “soft” given the proof of the crime on tape.
The entire ball tampering controversy rocket world cricket last Saturday when footage from the third test between Australia and South Africa picked up proof of the Aussies cheating. In the footage, Cameron Bancroft could be seen with a yellow tape tampering the ball, and when the cameras picked it up he admittedly “panicked” and put the tape into his pants.
Addressing the media after the incident, Bancroft and captain Smith took responsibility and said the “senior leadership” was involved in plotting the cheating.