Finally, things came to a standstill, as a tearful and inconsolable Steve Smith faced upto the press after his disgraceful return from South Africa, after the ball-tampering scandal in the Cape Town Test.
Steve Smith and David Warner copped a year ban, and Cameron Bancroft received a nine month ban in the aftermath of Bancroft being caught on camera altering the condition of the ball using sandpaper. It was later revealed that Warner was the one to come up with the idea to alter the condition of the ball and Bancroft agreed to do the dirty deed.
Steve Smith tearfully asked for forgiveness from the Australian people. "I want to, as captain of the Australian cricket team, I take full responsibility," he said. "I made a serious error in judgement. It was a failure of leadership, my leadership.”
"I know I’ll regret this for the rest of my life. I’m absolutely gutted," he said.
Cricket fraternity followed the press conference of Steve Smith reacted on Twitter, with regards to the apology.
Here are some tweets:
Yes,they made a mistake but by NO means they r criminals.Don’t treat them like one— Irfan Pathan (@IrfanPathan) March 29, 2018
So very hard to watch, well done Smithy and Bangas, horrible to see the pain they are in! They did wrong but will be back bigger and better! #goodyoungmen— Ryan Harris (@r_harris413) March 29, 2018
Just bloody awful! The boy is distraught and devastated! Smith will come back and he will be bigger and better! https://t.co/udD9f14WRT— Dean Jones (@ProfDeano) March 29, 2018
Tough to watch Cameron & Steve go through the 2 statements they just made. They will learn from this & be better in the future I’m sure!— Mitchell Johnson (@MitchJohnson398) March 29, 2018
DEVASTATING!— Michael Clarke (@MClarke23) March 29, 2018
Haven't Australia made enough of a spectacle of Steve Smith? I'm blown by what he is being put through.— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) March 29, 2018
Just watched Smith presser. Hope everybody has had their pound of flesh now.— mark butcher (@markbutcher72) March 29, 2018
Just leave them alone now. You can’t crucify someone like this. An honest appeal to all, its not a major crime. As i said earlier every crime should be dealt differently. Penalties accordingly. Stay strong @stevesmith49 https://t.co/azKk5ce9KK— Amol Muzumdar (@amolmuzumdar11) March 29, 2018
Let’s hope that’s the low point for Smith. Onwards and upwards.— Lawrence Booth (@the_topspin) March 29, 2018
I desperately hope Steve Smith stays strong, recovers and returns to international cricket. I desperately hope Cameron Bancroft is not scarred and, like his captain, is able to make best use of a second chance.— Neil Manthorp (@NeilManthorp) March 29, 2018