Distraught Australian cricket captain Steve Smith on Thursday accepted full responsibility for the ball-tampering scandal that has shaken the sport. The 28-year-old broke down in tears while denying it had ever happened before, saying he was devastated by his “big mistake”.

Cricket Australia have 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 during the third Test in South Africa

“I take full responsibility, I made a serious error of judgement and I understand the consequences. It was a failure of leadership,” Smith said, before breaking down in tears. “I’m sorry. I’m absolutely devastated.”

You can read the full text of the press conference here. You can watch the full video of the press conference here:

Earlier, Bancroft had also asked for forgiveness over his part in the ball-tampering scandal, saying he was ashamed of himself. The 25-year-old 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.

The overwhelming reaction on social media after the two press conferences was one of sympathy. A lot of people, including his former teammates and counterparts, were gutted seeing Smith break down repeatedly in the press conference.

One particular journalist at the conference seemed to use this as a chance to further his own ends and Twitter was having none of it.