Australia, ball-tempering, Scandal, David Warner

A tearful David Warner apologised for his role in the Australian ball-tampering scandal as he spoke at his first press conference following the incident.

DAVID Warner broke down in tears while speaking publicly about his role in the ball tampering scandal that has rocked Australian cricket.

Australia, ball-tempering, Scandal, David Warner

Warner was sacked as Australia vice-captain, slapped with a 12-month ban and shamed by his employers for allegedly corrupting Cameron Bancroft in Cape Town during the third Test.

CA accused Warner of developing a plan to illegally scuff the ball with sandpaper at Newlands, instructing Bancroft to do it then demonstrating to the most inexperienced member of the team how to cheat.

Warner read out a prepared statement to the media before fielding questions, where he stopped short of revealing if any further players, or coaches, beyond himself, Steve Smith and Cameron Bancroft had been involved in the plot, and if it was his idea.

Fronting the press in Sydney on Saturday, the opening batsman took full responsibility for his actions as he apologised to everyone who had been affected by his actions and said he is “resigned” to never playing for Australia again.

Warner broke down in tears while reading out his full statement, where he said: “To the fans and the lovers of the game who have supported and inspired me on my journey as a cricketer, I want to sincerely apologise for betraying your trust in me. I have let you down badly. I hope in time I can find a way to repay you for all you’ve given me and earn you respect again.

Australia, ball-tempering, Scandal, David Warner

“To my teammates and support staff, I apologise for my actions and take full responsibility for what happened on day three of the Newlands Test.

“To Cricket Australia, I apologise for my actions and the effect it has had on our game under your care and control. I want you to know I fully support your review into the culture of the Australian cricket team.

“To South African players, administration and fans, I apologise unreservedly for my part in this and I am sorry. I brought the game into disrepute on your soil. South Africa is a fine cricketing nation and deserves better from its guests and deserves better from me.

 

“To all Australians, whether you’re a cricket fan or not, I apologise for my actions. I’m sorry for the impact those actions have had on our country’s reputation.

“I can honestly say I have only ever wanted to bring glory to my country by playing cricket. In striving to do so, I have made a decision which has had an opposite effect and it’s one that I’ll regret for as long as I’ll live.”

Australia, ball-tempering, Scandal, David Warner

Warner said he was heartbroken he won’t be playing alongside his teammates and acknowledged he may never play for Australia again. He was particularly emotional when talking about his family and the tears flowed further as he apologised to them.

“It’s heartbreaking to know I won’t be taking the field with my teammates who I love and respect,” Warner said.

“In the back of my mind I suppose there is a tiny ray of hope that I may one day be given the privilege of playing for my country again but I am resigned to the fact that may never happen again.

Australia, ball-tempering, Scandal, David Warner

“Right now it is hard to know what comes next but first and foremost is the wellbeing of my family.

“I want to apologise to my family, especially my wife and daughters. Your love means more than anything to me. I know I would not be anything without you. I’m very sorry for putting you through this and I promise I’ll never put you in this position again.”

Warner also cast doubts over his future in the game, when non-committal in answering a question on whether he was considering retirement. He said: “That’s something I will continue to sit down with my family and weigh up all the options before making any decision.”

Iconic Indian broadcaster Harsha Bhogle raised the possibility Warner resigning himself to never playing international cricket again was a sign he had in effect been given an unofficial “lifetime ban”.

Warner then took to Twitter, where he acknowledged that there were still “unanswered questions”.

Warner also said he is going to look at himself as a man, not just a cricketer as he moves on from this scandal.

“I failed in my responsibilities as vice-captain of the Australian cricket team,” he said.

“In the coming weeks and months I’m going to look at how this has happened and who I am as a man. To be honest I’m not sure right now how I will do this, I will seek out advice and expertise, to help me make serious changes.”

Warner refused to be drawn in on the matter when asked if anyone else besides Cameron Bancroft and Steve Smith was involved.

Australia, ball-tempering, Scandal, David Warner

“I’m here today to accept my responsibility for my part, my involvement in what happened in Cape Town,” he said. “It’s inexcusable. I’m deeply sorry.”

Warner was unable to explain what his thought processes were when he conspired to cheat “given what happened in Durban” when he confronted Quinton de Kock in a stairwell in reaction to sledges about his wife Candice.

Amid reports he had fallen out with teammates like Smith and Mitchell Starc, the left-hander said: “We are mates. We have grown up with each other, we have played on the field for a long time with each other. It’s going to be really tough not to be able to partake in the next 12 months.”

Warner also refused to rule out retirement, saying he would talk things over with his family before deciding what his future holds.

WHICH PATH WAS WARNER GOING TO TAKE?

]The Courier Mail reported Cricket Australia (CA) was nervous because there were fears Warner may have used his press conference to implicate other teammates in the scandal.

“If they (CA) are not (scared) they’re wrong,” iconic sports presenter Ken Sutcliffe said on Channel Nine before Warner spoke. “They’ve got it all wrong.

“Warner is a time bomb … they’re not quite sure what he’s going to say.

“There was a little more control over the other two who were not quite as strident as the other guy but it’s going to be difficult.”

Ex-Australian fast bowler Jeff Thomson said if Warner did implicate his teammates, he wouldn’t be a “real Australian”.

“If he’s a real Australian you’re not going to dob anyone else in are you,” Thomson told Channel Seven’s Weekend Sunrise program.

“Say I was caught in this thing I wouldn’t be ratting out the other blokes.

“I wouldn’t dob in my mates, you just don’t do that. I’ll be surprised if he does and if he does he’ll be in even worse trouble.”

Former Queensland captain Jimmy Maher said he expected Warner to apologise fully but hopes he doesn’t retire from the international game to become a T20 gun for hire.

“There’s no way in the world he’s not going to come out and apologise for what he’s done,” Maher told Fox Sports News. “He’ll be hurting as much as the other guys and I’m sure we’ll see that today.

“That would be sad if he finished on this note.

“I hope it doesn’t happen. I’d like to see him accept the punishment, move on then in a year’s time we see him back playing. He’s way too young to retire.

“I hope he doesn’t retire and he doesn’t go and play all the T20 leagues.”

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