Devastated Steve Smith breaks down during apology for ball tampering scandal

Steve Smith, struggling to contain his emotions and at one point breaking down completely, faced the cameras for the first time since being stripped of the Australian cricket captaincy to issue a heartfelt apology for his role in the ball tampering affair that has rocked the sport.

Having been handed a 12-month ban and been sent home from South Africa by Cricket Australia, a devastated Smith touched down in Sydney on Thursday night and faced the music shortly afterwards in a highly-charged airport press conference room.

He repeatedly stated how “deeply sorry” he was for his actions, a sentiment Cameron Bancroft had expressed earlier in the evening when he landed in Perth and fronted the media. David Warner, the third of the trio charged with ball tampering in the third Test in Cape Town, was also on his way back to Sydney, although he was not expected to face the media. Instead he issued a statement on social media en route, admitting such behaviour is was “stain on the game”.

Smith said that, as captain of the team, he took full responsibility for what happened on the pitch in Cape Town and refused to lay blame at anyone else’s door, deflecting a question about his relationship with Warner.

“I made a serious error of

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