Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft arrive in Sydney today after being sent home by Cricket Australia for their role in ball tampering in the third Test against South Africa in Cape Town. Smith, Warner and Bancroft have been banned from international cricket and this will be the first time the sacked Australian cricket captain will face the media after flying out of Johannesburg on Wednesday amid tight security. Will he challenge his 12-month ban? Get live updates of Smith’s interaction with the media.
14:16 hrs IST: Steve Smith is looking extremely tired and emotional as he addresses the media. “I take full responsibility … There was a failure of leadership, of my leadership. I’ll do everything I can to make up for my mistake and the damage it’s caused.”
14:15 hrs IST: “To all of my teammates, to fans of cricket all over the world and to all Australians who are disappointed and angry. I’m sorry.” – Steve Smith in the press conference.
14:14 hrs IST: Steve Smith is here. “I was a mistake and it was a failure of leadership,” he told the media.
14:12 hrs IST: Steve Smith and David Warner were supposed to captain their respective franchises Rajasthan Royals and Sunrisers Hyderabad in this edition but had stepped down in the wake of the scandal and CA’s sanction paved the way for BCCI to ban the duo.
13:47 hrs IST: Steve Smith has arrived back in Australia and will face the media at Sydney Airport shortly.
13:41 hrs IST: In the press conference, Cameron Bancroft apologised and said he will forever regret his role in a ball-tampering scandal that has rocked Australian cricket and resulted in 12-month bans for team leaders Steve Smith and David Warner.
13:31 hrs IST: In other news, Kane Williamson has been appointed as captain of Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) for the 11th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL), starting April 7. He will replace David Warner who was banned for a year by Cricket Australia. Read full story here.
13:29 hrs IST: WACA CEO Christina Matthews confirmed that under current WACA rules he is not permitted to play grade cricket in the state due to his suspension but a rule change is under consideration.
13:22 hrs IST: The Cameron Bancroft press conference has ended in Perth. We are still waiting for an update from Steve Smith’s media address in Sydney.
13:18 hrs IST: “It’s going to be a really long road particularly for myself to earn that respect back but for me that’s the most important thing” – Cameron Bancroft said at the press conference.
13:15 hrs IST: Cameron Bancroft has said that he has not done anything like this before. “I have never ever been involved in tampering with the ball (before now) and it clearly compromises my values and what I stand for as a player and as a person,” he told the media.
13:14 hrs IST: “The thing that breaks my heart the most is that I’ve given up my spot in the team for free. People know I worked so hard to get to this point in my career and to have given up that chance for free is devastating.” – Cameron Bancroft at the press conference in Perth.
13:13 hrs IST: Cameron Bancroft was handed a nine-month ban by Cricket Australia for his role in the scandal. “I lied. I lied about the sandpaper. I panicked in that situation and I’m very sorry … I feel like I’ve let everyone down in Australia,” he said.
13:12 hrs IST: “All I can do is ask for forgiveness … I will do my best to contribute to the community” – Bancroft added.
13:11 hrs IST: “I want to say that I’m very sorry … I’m very disappointed and I regret my actions … It is something I will regret for the rest of my life.” – Cameron Bancroft at the press conference.
13:09 hrs IST: Steve Smith is facing the media in Sydney while Cameron Bancroft will be holding a press conference in Perth.
13:06 hrs IST: According to local media reports, Cameron Bancroft and Steve Smith have arrived in Australia after being sent home from South Africa.
13:03 hrs IST: The scandal has been a total nightmare for Cricket Australia as one of its biggest sponsors, fund manager Magellan, on Thursday tore up its contract with the governing body over the ball-tampering incident.
12:58 hrs IST: The press conference should start shortly. David Warner and Cameron Bancroft are also returning to Australia with ex-skipper Steve Smith.
12:48 hrs IST: Australian coach Darren Lehmann cited the Black Caps’ approach when asked how his team needed to change its approach in the wake of the ball-tampering scandal in South Africa.
12:39 hrs IST: Steve Smith was booed by the crowd at the Johannesburg Airport on Wednesday. Watch video here.
12:31 hrs IST: Earlier today, David Warner issued a public apology on social media. In a statement released via Twitter and Instagram, Warner admitted “Mistakes have been made which have damaged cricket. I apologize for my part and take responsibility for it.
12:27 hrs IST: Hello and welcome to the live coverage of Steve Smith’s first press conference after Cricket Australia handed him a one-year ban for his role in the ball-tampering incident.
Meanwhile, Warner has broken his silence over social media. The explosive left-hander, identified by Cricket Australia as the mastermind behind the ball-tampering controversy, has been banned for 12 months too and will never be able to captain the national side.