Banned Australia opener Cameron Bancroft has admitted lying to match officials after being caught attempting to tamper with the ball.
Bancroft was caught on video applying what turned out to be sandpaper to the ball but twice lied about it, first showing the umpires a cloth he kept in his pocket to clean his sunglasses before claiming he used a strip of yellow tape.
Only after Cricket Australia’s in-depth investigation would it be revealed that he had received a demonstration from vice-captain David Warner on how to apply the sandpaper to the ball.
A visibly emotional Bancroft faced the media in his home town of Perth and cut a dejected and remorseful figure.
Bancroft told the gathered press: “I want to say that I am very sorry.
“I love the game of cricket and playing for my nation and my state there is no greater pride for me.
“I am extremely disappointed and regret my actions.
“I am sorry to the people who have looked up to me around the world, especially the kids. I know I’m a role model and haven’t acted like one in this instance.
“I understand that I have let people down and I understand the disappointment in the broader community.
“Words don’t mean much in these circumstances, so I will focus on my actions and my conduct going forward.
“Not a second has gone by since last Saturday evening when I haven’t wanted to turn back time and do the right thing in the lunch break.
“It is something I will regret for the rest of my life. It is something I will look to improve on and earn the respect back of the community.
“All I can do in the short term is ask for forgiveness, I hope you can allow it in your hearts to allow me to progress on that journey.
“For now, I will do the best to contribute to the community.”
Bancroft admitted that he panicked in the immediate aftermath of the incident and lied to officials about what he used to attempt to tamper with the ball.
When asked about it he responded: “Yes, I lied about the sandpaper and I panicked in that situation, and I’m very sorry.”
Bancroft is gutted to have given away his spot in the Test team that he worked hard to nail down.
He added: “Through the last few days and sitting in my own company the thing that breaks my heart the most is the fact I’ve just given up my spot in the team to somebody else for free.
“People know that I’ve worked so hard to be able to get to this point in my career and to know that I’ve given somebody else an opportunity for free is devastating to me.
“I know it’s going to be a difficult journey back, but the moment I step foot outside this room is the moment I take steps forward to earning that respect back and get back that dream I’ve had as a kid growing up, and that’s playing Test cricket for Australia.”
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