I hope I can earn back respect: Steve Smith

Steve Smith and David Warner receive 12-month bans Cameron Bancroft given nine-month suspension

An emotional Steve Smith has taken full responsibility for the Australian ball-tampering scandal and says he "failed" as a captain. "I'm sorry. I'm absolutely devastated".

"What happened in Cape Town has already been laid out by Cricket Australia".

Smith, wearing a formal coat and drawing deep breaths as he spoke, addressed the fans and the children of Australia would wanted to know why he'd cheated. Cricket has been my life and I hope it can be again.

Darren Lehmann said informing Australia's players of his resignation as head coach was the toughest thing he has ever had to do, but he believes his decision to step down is the "right thing for Australian cricket".

"Any time you think about making a questionable decision, think about who you're affecting. Think about who you're affecting".

I'm the captain of the Australian team. "I made a serious error of judgement".

"It was a failure of leadership, on my leadership". I will do everything I can to make up for my mistake and the damage it has caused.

I am extremely disappointed and regret my actions.

Warner was scheduled to arrive back in Sydney late Thursday night, but was not planning to speak to the media.

Australian cricket coach Darren Lehmann reacts as he briefs media at the Wanderes stadium in Johanneburg, South Africa March 29, 2018. I'm sorry for what it's entailed since then and for that. As a team, we know we've let so many people down and, for that, we are truly sorry. "I hope the team rebuilds from this and the Australian public finds it in their hearts to forgive these young men". "All I can do in the short term is to ask for forgiveness".

The 25-year-old Bancroft, playing in only his eight Test match, was suspended for nine months.

"I've been thinking about my position for a while", he said. "People know I worked so hard to get to this point in my career and to have given up that chance for free is devastating".

Warner was charged by Cricket Australia with developing the plan to use sandpaper to alter the ball to their bowlers' advantage and instructing Bancroft to carry it out. "Speaking to my family, it's the right time to step away". It was later proved to be sandpaper that Bancroft had used.

"I lied. I lied about the sandpaper". "I panicked in that situation".

"I'm not here to talk about other players involved, it is my actions that I am accountable for and they don't reflect on my values".

Smith, a golden boy compared to Donald Bradman for his batting exploits, was a broken man at an emotional press conference on his arrival back in Sydney from Johannesburg. "It's on my watch and I take responsibility for what happened", Smith, the top-ranked Test batsman in the world said. "I understand the distress this has caused the sport and its fans".

Cricket Australia, however, is expected to officially confirm the announcement of their penalties later today. They've also been barred by Indian authorities from the lucrative IPL.

Wicketkeeper Tim Paine will take over the Australian captaincy for the fourth and final Test starting in Johannesburg on Friday, with Matt Renshaw, Glenn Maxwell and Joe Burns drafted in as replacements. Warner will never again be considered for a leadership role in an Australian team. Electronics company LG on Wednesday said it would not renew its soon-to-expire deal with Warner.

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