Tearful Smith apologises for ball tampering scandal
"Devastated" former Australia captain Steve Smith broke down in tears as he apologised for his part in the ball-tampering scandal.
The 28-year-old arrived from South Africa after being stripped of the captaincy and handed a 12-month ban for his part in the incident during the third test against South Africa in Cape Town last weekend.
"To all of my team mates, to fans of cricket all over the world and to Australians who are angry and disappointed, I'm sorry," Smith told reporters in a prepared statement at Sydney Airport after spending some time with his family.
"Tonight I want to make clear that as captain of the Australian cricket team, I take full responsibility. I made a serious error of judgement and I now understand the consequences.
"It was a failure of leadership, of my leadership, I'll do anything I can to make up for my mistake and the damage it has caused," he added, breaking down for the first time.
"If any good can come of this, as an example to others, 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'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."Published: by Radio NewsHub