The ball-tampering scandal during the third Test between South Africa and Australia in Johannesburg saw Cricket Australia sending skipper Smith, deputy David Warner and opener Cameron Bancroft home. While Smith and Warner were handed 12-month bans, Bancroft got a 9-month ban.
Bancroft had used a strip of yellow sticky tape that he had covered with dirt granules to illegally scratch the rough side of the ball in an attempt to generate more swing for Australia's bowlers. It was later found that the yellow sticky tape was sandpaper.
Bancroft was filmed not only rubbing the ball with the sandpaper strip, but also concealing the evidence down the front of his trousers. Smith had taken responsibility for the act and had said that it was a decision taken by the ‘leadership group’.
Addressing the media after returning to Australia, Smith broke down and said: "I take full responsibility, I made a serious error of judgement and I understand the consequences. It was a failure of leadership. I will do everything to make up for my mistake. If any good can come for this... it can be a lesson for others. I hope I can be a force for change.
“I know I will regret this for the rest of my life. I am absolutely gutted. Cricket is my life and hope it can be again. I'm sorry. I'm absolutely devastated."
Warner will also be a part of the T20 league along with Smith and the former Australia captain has decided to donate his match fees to cricket projects in Australia and Canada.
First Published: June 26, 2018, 11:11 AM IST