Disgraced Australia batsman David Warner on Thursday apologised for his role in the ball-tampering scandal. The left-handed batsman was banned for a year by Cricket Australia (CA) after it emerged he was at the centre of Australia's ball-tampering plans during the third Test against South Africa in Cape Town.
In a post on Twitter on Thursday, a contrite Warner wrote: "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."
Australia captain Steve Smith was handed a one-year ban besides being removed from the leadership role. Cameron Bancroft, who carried out the ball-tampering scheme using sandpaper, was meanwhile banned for nine months. Both Smith and Bancroft won't be able to captain Australia for 12 months after they return to the game.
In Warner's case, he can never skipper Australia after he returns. His Indian Premier League franchise Sunrisers Hyderabad has also barred him from featuring in the upcoming edition. Smith has received the same treatment from his team, Rajasthan Royals.
For now, Warner has apolosiged but it will be interesting to see how Aussie fans react to his misdeeds once he is back in the country. According to reports, both Smith and Warner are in for plenty of boos and heckling.
There is a mixed reaction in the cricket world over the nature of punishments meted out by the CA, with former Aussie great Shane Warne stressing "the punishments don't fit the crime".