Cricket

Australia ball-tampering scandal: Outpouring of sympathy for Steve Smith on Twitter; David Warner gets little support

Former Australian captain Steve Smith broke down repeatedly while addressing the media in Sydney on Thursday, following his one-year ban for being one of the key architects of the ball-tampering scandal that had rocked the cricket world over the past few days.

Australia ball-tampering scandal: Outpouring of sympathy for Steve Smith on Twitter; David Warner gets little support

Former Australian captain Steve Smith broke down repeatedly while addressing the media in Sydney on Thursday, following his one-year ban for being one of the key architects of the ball-tampering scandal that had rocked the cricket world over the past few days.

"I take full responsibility, I made a serious error of judgment and I understand the consequences. It was a failure of leadership," an emotional Smith said.

"I will do everything to make up for my mistake. If any good can come for this... it can be a lesson for others. 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. Cricket is my life and hope it can be again. I'm sorry. I'm absolutely devastated," he added.

Smith and his former deputy Warner was banned for a year by Cricket Australia following the shocking revelations during Australia's third Test against South Africa at Cape Town earlier this week. Additionally, while Smith can't take up a captaincy role for Australia until a year after his ban gets over, Warner will never be considered for a role. Young opener Cameron Bancroft, who carried out the 'dirty work' on the field, using sandpaper to roughen up one side of the ball, in order to make it conducive to reverse swing, was handed a nine-month ban. Earlier the International Cricket Council (ICC) had banned Smith for a match and docked his entire match fee. Bancroft had 75 percent of his match fee deducted and was given three demerit points.

Warner, for his part, apologised to the fans and said he needed to spend time with his family, friends and advisers before making a statement in a few days.

Bancroft asked for forgiveness on his return to Perth, saying he was ashamed of himself.

The trio flew home from South Africa after the punishments were meted out.

There has been a raging debate over whether the sanctions handed down by the Australian cricket board were too harsh, and Twitter has been abuzz. Here are some reactions on the microblogging site:

With inputs from AFP

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Updated Date: March 29, 2018 16:06:41 IST

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