An emotional Cameron Bancroft asked for forgiveness on Thursday over his part in a ball-tampering scandal, saying he was ashamed of himself, but refused to comment on the role David Warner played.

He apologised for what he did, admitting that he lied after panicking at being caught. He also said he will let his actions speak for him as “words don’t mean much in these circumstances” and has vowed to regain the respect of the cricket community.

Bancroft was banned for nine months after using sandpaper to scratch the surface of the ball during the third Test against South Africa in Cape Town in an incident that sent shockwaves through the sport and that he said he would regret “for the rest of his life”.

He then tried to hide the evidence down his trousers, only to be caught on camera.

The 25-year-old opening batsman, who has played just eight Tests, will also be required to undertake 100 hours of voluntary service in community cricket.

“The thing that breaks my heart the most is that I’ve given up my spot in the team for free. People know I worked so hard to get to this point in my career and to have given up that chance for free is devastating,” he said.

“It is something I will regret for the rest of my life. All I can do in the short term is ask for forgiveness,” Bancroft, who was close to tears, told reporters in Perth after arriving home from Johannesburg.

“I feel like I’ve let everyone down in Australia and I’m not proud of that, it will take time for that to heal and earn the respect back.

“Through this whole experience and whirlwind few days it’s been obvious to see how much the game means to Australia and the public, and we are representations of that. It’s been a big wake up call for what that means.”

Cricket Australia said Bancroft had attempted to “artificially alter the condition of the ball using sandpaper”, with the aim being to generate more swing for Australia’s bowlers.

‘It compromises my values as a player’

Warner, who was also sent home and banned for a year, was charged with developing the plot and instructing Bancroft to carry it out.

Bancroft said it did want to comment on other players, and denied he had ever tampered with a ball before.

“I’m not here to comment about other players. I want to show how sorry I am, at the end of the day they are my actions and I am accountable,” he said.

“I have never ever been involved in tampering with a ball (before now) ... it compromises my values and what I stand for as a player and a person.”

He declined to say whether he felt his ban was too harsh or whether he planned to appeal, only that he respected the process and “I will work with my manager and we’ll move forward with that”.

With inputs from AFP

Full statement of Bancroft:-

“Thank you very much for coming along everyone. I’ve had time to reflect the events in Cape Town on the punishments handed down to me by the ICC and Cricket Australia. I wanna say that I am very sorry. I love the game of cricket and playing for my nation, my state. There is no greater pride for me. I am extremely disappointed. I am sorry to those people who have looked up to me around the world, especially the kid. I am a role model and I have not acted like one in this instance. I understand that I have let many people down. And, I understand the disappointment in the borader community. Words don’t mean much in these circumstances. So, I’ll focus on my actions and conduct going forward. Not a second has gone by since last Saturday evening, when I haven’t wished to turn back time and do the right thing during the lunch break. It’s something that I’ll regret for the rest of my life. It is something I will look to improve on and earn the respect back of the community. All I can do in the short term is ask for forgiveness, I hope you can allow it in your hearts to allow me to progress on that journey. For now, I will do the best to contribute to the community.”

Bancroft’s responses to the media:-

“Yes, I lied about the sandpaper and I panicked in that situation, and I’m very sorry.”

“Through the last few days and sitting in my own company the thing that breaks my heart the most is the fact I’ve just given up my spot in the team to somebody else for free. People know that I’ve worked so hard to be able to get to this point in my career and to know that I’ve given somebody else an opportunity for free is devastating to me.”

“I know it’s going to be a difficult journey back, but the moment I step foot outside this room is the moment I take steps forward to earning that respect back and get back that dream I’ve had as a kid growing up, and that’s playing Test cricket for Australia.”

“For me, to carry out that in front of world cricket, and to be seen breaking the laws of the game, not playing within the spirit of the game, it’s completely how cricket shouldn’t be played and it completely compromises why we play this amazing game.”

“It’s going to be a really long road, particularly for myself, it’s going to be really difficult to earn that respect back, but I know that for me is the most important thing.”