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Sports

Warner weeps over role in Australia cricket team's ball-tampering

media Former Australia vice-captain David Warner broke down in tears during a press conference about his role in the Australia team's ball-tampering plot. Reuters/Ben Rushton

David Warner, the former vice-captain of the Australia Test cricket team, conceded on Saturday that he may never play for his country again during a tearful apology for his role in a ball-tampering scandal.

 

Speaking in Sydney, 31-year-old Warner became the third disgraced Australian player to make an emotional appearance in front of the media.

"I can honestly say I have only wanted to bring glory to my country through playing cricket,” he said. "In striving to do so I have made the decision which has had the opposite effect and it's one that I will regret for as long as I live." 

Struggling to contain the guilt and emotion, tears trickled down his anguished face. The man widely viewed as Australia’s most combative player and flinty personality, apologised to fans, teammates, his family and the Australian public.

But he also evaded questions about whether the ball-tampering plot was his idea, whether it was the first time, who else was aware of it and whether he had been made a scapegoat.

Warner's mea culpa comes after similar lachrymose laments from opening batsman Cameron Bancroft and captain Steve Smith.

Top players suspended

Smith and Warner have been banned from international and domestic cricket for a year. Bancroft will not be able to play for nine months after the incident during the third Test in Cape Town. Bancroft was caught on camera trying to use yellow sandpaper to alter the ball.

"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," Warner said.

"I am here today to accept my responsibility for my part and my involvement for what happened in Cape Town. It's inexcusable. I am deeply sorry. I will do everything I can to earn back the respect of the Australian public.

"In the coming weeks and months I am going to look at what has happened and who I am as a man," he said. "To be honest, I am not sure right now how I will do this, I will seek out advice and expertise to make serious changes."

In the aftermath of Australia's cheating, Warner was dumped by sponsors ASICS and LG, while Cricket Australia has been dropped by its top sponsor, fund manager Magellan.

He and Smith have also been dismissed from their teams in this year's Indian Premier League – omissions that will cost each nearly two million euros in lost fees.

 

 

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