Suspended Australia captain Steve Smith addressed the press after landing in Sydney, stating that he took “full responsibility” for his team’s misdemeanours following the ball-tampering scandal in the third Test in Cape Town. A visibly emotional Smith repeatedly apologised for what transpired during the third Test.
Cricket Australia banned Smith and David Warner from all international and domestic cricket for a year while opening batsman Cameron Bancroft was exiled for nine months over attempted cheating. Warner, who is widely reported as the mastermind behind the incident, was exempt from any blame from the 28-year-old. Smith also stated that he hoped to be a part of the Australian team once his suspension period ends.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India also suspended the Australian duo for the upcoming Indian Premier League season. Here’s what the world No 1 Test batsman in an emotionally-charged press conference.
To all of my teammates, to fans of cricket all over the world, and to all Australians who are disappointed and angry, I am sorry. What happened in Cape Town has already been laid out by Cricket Australia. Tonight, I want to make it clear that as the captain of the Australian team, I take full responsibility.
It was a serious error of judgement and I now understand the consequences. It was a failure of leadership, of my leadership. I will do everything I can to make up for my mistake and the damage it has caused. If any good can come from this, it can be a lesson to others and 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. I have been so privileged and honoured to represent my country and the Australian cricket team. Cricket is the greatest game in the world. And it has been my life and I hope it can be again. I am sorry and I am absolutely devastated.
Good people make mistakes and I have made a big mistake by allowing this to happen. It was an huge error on my behalf and I’m deeply sorry.
To my knowledge this has never happening and I can assure you that you that will never happen again. I don’t blame anyone and I’m the captain of the Australian team and it’s on my watch and I take responsibilty of what happened in Cape Town.
To the kids, I say two things: 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 and my mum.... 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.”