Smith breaks down as he faces the media

Australia’s disgraced skipper Steve Smith broke down emotionally while facing the press on his return home.

The skipper issued another public apology for his actions and lack of leadership appearing to be extremely remorseful.

The captain was handed a 12 month ban for his part in a plot to apply sandpaper to the ball during the third Test against South Africa at Newlands.

A tearful Smith took full responsibility for his actions and expressed his desire to atone for his role in the ball tampering saga that threatens not only his career but that of David Warner and Cameron Bancroft too.

The former skipper said: “I want to, as captain of the Australian cricket team, I take full responsibility.

“I made a serious error in judgement.

“It was a failure of leadership, my leadership.

“I will do everything I can to make up for my mistake and the damage it’s caused.

“If any good is to come from this it can be a lesson for others and I hope I can be a force for change.

“I know I’ll regret this for the rest of my life. I’m absolutely gutted.”

Smith cut the figure of a broken young man in this press conference being unable to speak and openly shedding tears.

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He said that he deeply regrets his actions and the impact they will have on his family and Australian cricket.

Smith has always given a great deal of credit to his father, whose dedication helped him grow into the best Test batsman in the world and his father’s pain has cut the skipper to the quick.

He added: “I say two things, or three things.

“Firstly, I’m deeply sorry. I love the game of cricket, I love entertaining young kids, I love kids wanting to play the great game of cricket that I love.

“The two other things is that, any time you think about making a questionable decision, think about who you’re affecting, you’re affecting your parents.

“To see the way my old man’s been … it hurts. I just want to say I’m sorry for the pain that I’ve brought to Australia and the fans and the public, it’s devastating and I’m truly sorry.”