Sydney: Breaking down repeatedly during a press conference, a distraught former Australia skipper Steve Smith on Thursday apologised for his involvement in the ball tampering scandal and took full responsibility for it.
Smith, who along with his deputy David Warner was banned for a year, arrived here on Thursday and appeared before the media when he admitted that the Cape Town ball tampering scandal was a failure of his leadership.
“I am sorry. I want to make it clear that as captain of the Australia Cricket team I take full responsibility. I made a serious error of judgment and I now understand the consequences,” an emotional Smith told reporters.
“I will do everything I can do to make up for my mistake and the damage it has caused. If any good can come of this, it can be a lesson to others, and I hope can be a cause for change,” he added.
Smith, who was stripped of the Australian captaincy for at least two years, owned full responsibility for the whole scandal that broke out during the third Test against South Africa in Cape Town.
“I’ve been privileged and honoured to represent my country. Cricket has been my life and I hope it can be again.
“I’m sorry and I’m absolutely devastated. 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,” he added.
The 28-year-old delivered a heart-breaking message before breaking down when mentioning the impact the saga has had on his family.
“I say two things, or three things. 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,” he said.
“The two other things are 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,” he added.
Smith also hoped that he can earn back the respect and trust of the fans with the passage of time.
“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,” he said.