Former Australian captain Steve Smith broke down as he issued an official apology for his role in the ball-tampering scandal. He reached Sydney after being banned from international cricket for one year by Cricket Australia.
"To all of my teammates, to fans of cricket all over the world and to all Australians who are disappointed and angry. I'm sorry. I take full responsibility. There was a failure of leadership, of my leadership. I'll do everything I can to make up for my mistake and the damage it's caused," he said. Smith broke down several times in the press conference, especially when he reflected on the effects his actions have had on his parents.
"I don't blame anyone. I am the captain of the Australian team, I take responsibility to what happened. If any good can come of this, if there can be a lesson to others then 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 hope in time I can earn back respect and forgiveness.
"Cricket is the greatest sport in the world. It's been my life and I hope it can be again. I'm sorry and I'm absolutely devastated I don't blame anyone. It's on my watch and I take responsibility. It hurts. I'm deeply sorry. I just want to say sorry for the pain I've brought to Australia, to the fans and to my family and the public," Smith said.