"I've been privileged and honoured to represent my country. Cricket has been my life and I hope it can be again," said an emotional Smith.

Steve Smith takes full responsibility for ball tampering scandal apologisesTwitter / Hugh Riminton
Sports Cricket Thursday, March 29, 2018 - 15:30

Breaking down often 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. That was a failure of leadership, my leadership,” 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.

Smith has also been banned from playing in the upcoming edition of the Indian Premier League. 

Cricket Australia charged Smith with a breach of Article 2.3.5 of the CA Code of Conduct. This included five points, including hatching the plot to alter the condition of the ball before hiding the information from the match officials and misleading public statements.

"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," Smith added.

Questions have also been raised whether the Australian team had indulged in such practices in the past that had gone unnoticed. 

Smith categorically stated, "To my knowledge this has never happened before, this is the first time I have seen it happen and I can assure it will never happen again. I don't blame anyone. I am the captain of the Australian team and it is on my watch, I take responsibility of what happened last Saturday in Cape Town."

(With IANS inputs)

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