Disgraced Australia cricketer Steve Smith broke down in tears on his return to Australia from South Africa on Thursday.
"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. I will do everything I can to make up for my mistake and the damage it's caused. If any good is to come from this it can be a lesson for others and I hope I can be a force for change. I know I'll regret this for the rest of my life. I'm absolutely gutted.
“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. 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 ... 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.”
Watch Smith's press conference here.
— ANI (@ANI) March 29, 2018
Smith was found guilty of providing consent to ball-tampering by Cameron Bancroft in league with David Warner. On Wednesday, he was banned for one year by Cricket Australia, including he can't captain Australia for 12 months after his return.
The Indian Premier League too closed the door on the prolific batsman on the same day.
Earlier on Thursday, Warner, who has been meted out the same punishment as Smith but can never be considered for Australia captaincy, broke his silence over the scandal on Twitter and made a public apology.
"To cricket fans in Australia and all over the world: I'm currently on my way back to Sydney. Mistakes have been made which have damaged cricket. I apologise for my part and take responsibility for it. I understand the distress this has caused the sport and its fans. It's a stain on the game we all love and I've loved since I was a boy. I need to take a deep breath and spend time with my family, friends and trusted advisers. You will hear from me in a few days," the left-handed batsman wrote.
The third offender in the scandal, Bancroft, who carried out the ball-tampering scheme using sandpaper, received a nine-month ban. He too can't captain Australia for 12 months after his return.