(Reuters) - Australia batsman Cameron Bancroft apologised on Thursday for lying about what he had used to scuff up the ball in the third test against South Africa after it was confirmed he used sandpaper and not sticky tape with granules from the pitch.
Cricket Australia banned Bancroft for nine months on Wednesday over the scandal, which has outraged the fans, jolted sponsors and prompted CA to send the players home.
CA also banned captain Steve Smith and his deputy David Warner for a year each for their roles in the scandal.
“I lied. I lied about the sandpaper,” Bancroft told reporters at a news conference in Perth. “I panicked in that situation and I’m very sorry. I feel like I’ve let everyone down in Australia.”
The 25-year-old said he had thrown away his spot in the team and that he was determined to win back respect.
“The thing that breaks my heart the most is that I’ve given up my spot in the team for free. People know I worked so hard to get to this point in my career and to have given up that chance for free is devastating,” Bancroft added.
“I have never ever been involved in tampering with the ball (before now) and it clearly compromises my values and what I stand for as a player and as a person.
“It’s going to be a really long road particularly for myself to earn that respect back but for me that’s the most important thing.”
Reporting by Simon Jennings in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford