Warner apologises as disgraced skipper Smith heads back to Australia

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Warner, Steve Smith and Cameron Bancroft are the defamed trio who were penalized by Cricket Australia on Wednesday.

Australian captain Steve Smith and vice-captain David Warner were handed one-year bans for their involvement in the ball-tampering scandal whilst the protagonist of the story, Cameron Bancroft, was handed a 9-month ban.

"I'm extremely disappointed and regret my actions, I'm sorry to to those people who have looked up to me in the cricket world and especially the kids". I have been so privileged and honored to represent my country and captain the Australian cricket team. I'll do everything I can to make up for my mistake and the damage it has caused.

Axed captain Smith and vice-captain Warner will serve 12-month bans from all worldwide and Australian domestic cricket, while Bancroft has been hit with a nine-month suspension for their roles in the pre-meditated plan which saw the latter attempt to alter the condition of the ball in Cape Town on Saturday.

Asked how that could happen in view of the fact that he was viewed as one of the instigators of Australia's aggressive style of play, he said he would not resign but admitted: "I need to change". He also said that a damage has been done to the game that he loved since he was a boy. He added: "I want to also apologise to Cricket South Africa and South African fans that this issue has overshadowed what should have been a great series".

Warner was also charged with providing advice to a junior player "regarding how a ball could be artificially altered including demonstrating how it could be done", and then with lying to match officials about his role in developing the plan, and his role in it. Smith and Bancroft were also charged with misleading the match officials on the field when they tried to hide the tampering.

Television footage of the scandal-hit third Test in Cape Town showed Lehmann relaying a message down to Handscomb after cameras caught Bancroft attempting to alter the ball's condition with what Australian officials have said was sandpaper.

"I'm deeply sorry. I love the game of cricket ..."

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The opening batsman was suspended from worldwide and state cricket for 12 months on Wednesday and banned from ever holding a leadership position in the test team again for his role in the cheating in Cape Town.

"Words don't mean much in these circumstances, so I'll focus on my actions and conduct going forward".

In addition to the ban, he will never be considered for any leadership position. It also said Warner, the pugnacious batsman who has a series of disciplinary breaches in his past, can't ever captain or be vice captain of an Australia team again.

"Regrettably, these recent events are so inconsistent with our values that we are left with no option but to terminate our ongoing partnership with Cricket Australia", said the fund manager's chief Hamish Douglass.

The fourth and final Test match gets underway on Friday at the Wanderers, with Tim Paine taking over the captaincy from Smith.

These were the fallout of the ball-tampering incident that took place on Saturday during the third Test against South Africa at Newlands.

IST: Warner has finally broken his silence on the ball-tampering saga.

After failing to do so on Tuesday, when he first announced that the three would be sanctioned, Sutherland eventually conceded yesterday that what Warner, Smith and Bancroft did in Cape Town amounted to cheating.

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