SYDNEY (Reuters) - Former Australia vice captain David Warner broke his silence over the ball-tampering saga on Thursday with a post on social media in which he apologised and accepted responsibility for his “part” in the scandal.
The opening batsman was suspended from international and state cricket for 12 months on Wednesday and banned from ever holding a leadership position in the test team again for his role in the cheating in Cape Town.
“I am currently on my way back to Sydney,” Warner posted in a message to “cricket fans in Australia and all over the world” on Instagram.
“Mistakes have been made which have damaged cricket. I apologise for my part and take responsibility for it. I understand the distress this has caused the sport and its fans.
“It’s a stain on the game we all love and I have loved since I was a boy.”
Warner was identified as the instigator of the tampering in the findings of the Cricket Australia investigation, instructing junior batsman Cameron Bancroft how to scuff up one half of the ball with sandpaper during the third test against South Africa.
Bancroft was banned for nine months for his part, while captain Steve Smith also received a one-year ban, even though he was described in the report of only being aware of the plan.
As well as the ignominy of being identified as the main villain of the piece in the Cricket Australia report, Warner has paid a heavy financial penalty for his misjudgement.
A subsequent ban from the Indian Premier League (IPL) cost him $1.85 million this season, while sports manufacturer ASICS and technology giant LG have both said they would no longer work with him.
Warner is expected to land in his home city in the late evening local time on a separate flight from Smith but confirmed that he would not be taking the opportunity to address media.
“I need to take a deep breath and spend time with my family, friends and trusted advisors,” he added. “You will hear from me in a few days.”
Reporting by Nick Mulvenney; Editing by John O'Brien