David Warner apologises, says he put stain on game he loves

David Warner apologises, says he put stain on game he loves

David Warner apologises, says he put stain on game he loves

Banned Australian opener David Warner today apologised for his role in the ball-tampering scandal, saying he put a "stain on the game he loved as a boy".

Warner has been identified as the chief plotter of the infamous incident in South Africa, leading to one-year bans on him and captain Steve Smith. Both the players were also barred from this year's IPL.

"To cricket fans in Australia and all over the world: I am currently on my way back to Sydney. Mistakes have been made which have damaged cricket," Warner, who was Australia's vice-captain posted on social media.

"I apologise for my part and take responsibility for it. I understand the distress this has caused the sport and its fans. Its a stain on the game we all love and I have loved since I was a boy."

The 31-year-old Warner, who can still play club cricket, said he needs time to reassess his future.

"I need to take a deep breath and spend time with my family, friends and trusted advisers. You will hear from me in a few days," he added.

Following Cricket Australia's investigation into the scandal, it has come to light that Smith and Cameron Bancroft knew what they were getting into but it was Warner who developed the "plan to attempt to artificially alter the condition of the ball".

Bancroft, who has been handed a nine-month suspension, was caught on camera pulling out sand paper to tamper the ball.

The CA has also made it clear that while Smith still has a chance to captain Australia one year after the end of his ban, Warner will never be considered for a leadership role.

The dangerous opener has been charged for instructing "a junior player to carry out a plan to take steps to attempt to artificially alter the condition of the ball using sandpaper".

All the three indicted players have also been ordered to undertake 100 hours of voluntary service in community cricket.

However, CA has cleared coach Darren Lehmann of any wrongdoing, insisting that he was aware of the plan hatched by the trio.

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