Watch: Steve Smith Breaks Down, Says He’s ‘Absolutely Devastated’
Steve Smith broke down while speaking to the media for the first time since being banned for one year.
An emotional Steve Smith broke down repeatedly while speaking to the media for the first time after being banned for 12 months for his role in the ball-tampering scandal.
“I am sorry. Tonight I want to make one thing clear, that as captain for the Australian team, I take full responsibility. I made a serious error of judgement and I now understand the consequences. It was a failure of leadership, of my leadership,” said Smith.
The former Australian cricket captain however then got emotional while reading out his statement and broke down in tears.
“I will do everything to make up for my mistake and the damage it has caused,” he said.
Watch the video below.
Referring to the 12-month ban handed out to him and David Warner, Smith said he hoped it would be a lesson to others in future to not tread on the same path.
“If any good can come from this. If it can be a lesson to others, then I hope I can be a force for change. I know I will regret this for the rest of my life. I am absolutely gutted. I hope in time, I can earn back respect and forgiveness. I have been so privileged and honoured to represent my country and captain the Australian cricket team.”
“Cricket has been my life and I hope it can be again. I am sorry and I am absolutely devastated,” added Smith before taking some questions from the local journalists.
Smith was then asked for his side of the story when he agreed to go through with the ball-tampering plan which Cricket Australia has since revealed was the idea of David Warner.
I have made a big mistake by allowing this to happen. It was a huge error of judgement on my behalf and I am deeply sorry.Steve Smith
Smith however also repeated once again that this was the first time he had seen or been involved in an act of ball-tampering. “To my knowledge, this has never happened before. This is the first time I have seen this happening. I can assure you this will never happen again.”
‘Do You Blame Warner?’
A reporter also asked Smith if he blamed Warner for the entire scandal, to which he said, “I don’t blame anyone. As I said, I am the captain of the Australian team. It was on my watch and I take responsibility for what happened last Saturday in Cape Town.”
While both Smith and Warner have been handed bans of 12 months each by Cricket Australia, the board in their official press release made it clear that it was Warner who had come up with the idea.
In their sanction, they have pulled up Warner for 'development of a plan to attempt to artificially alter the condition of the ball’, ‘instruction to a junior player to carry out a plan to take steps to attempt to artificially alter the condition of the ball using sandpaper’ and ‘provision of advice to a junior player regarding how a ball could be artificially altered including demonstrating how it could be done’.
Smith however was punished for having ‘knowledge of a potential plan to attempt to artificially alter the condition of the ball.’
‘You Are Affecting Your Parents’
Smith was finally ushered out of the briefing when he broke down while talking about the effect his actions have had on his parents.
A reporter had asked Smith what message he would like to send to children who love the sport.
"Anytime you are thinking of making a questionable decision, think about who you are affecting, you're affecting your parents," he said.
"To see the way my old man's been and my Mum, it hurts. I just want to say I'm sorry for the pain I've brought to Australia and the fans, I'm devastated and I'm truly sorry."
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