Qantas Tour of South Africa

Tearful Warner leaves more questions

Suspended opening batsman concedes he may never play international cricket again following ball-tampering scandal

Louis Cameron

31 March 2018, 10:31 AM

Warner apologises but leaves out the detail

David Warner has tearfully apologised for his role in the Cape Town ball-tampering scandal and says he's resigned to the fact he may never play for Australia again.

A devastated Warner broke down as he read a prepared statement in front of a packed press conference in Sydney on Saturday.

Describing his actions as "inexcusable and deeply regrettable", Warner apologised to teammates, support staff, Australian and South African fans and vowed to change.

"To the fans and the lovers of the game who have supported and inspired me on my journey as a cricketer, I want to sincerely apologise for betraying your trust in me," he said.

"I have let you down badly. I hope in time I can find a way to repay you for all you've given me and possibly earn your respect again.

"To my teammates and support staff, I apologise for my actions and I take full responsibility for my part in what happened on day three of the Newlands Test.

"To Cricket Australia, I apologise for my actions and the effect it has had on our game under your care and control. I want you to know that I fully support your review into the culture of the Australian cricket team.

Warner arriving with wife Candice // Getty
Warner arriving with wife Candice // Getty

"To South African players, administration and fans, I apologise unreservedly for my part in this and I am sorry. I brought the game into disrepute on your soil. South Africa is a fine cricketing nation and deserves better from its guests and deserves better from me.

"To all Australians, whether you're a cricket fan or not, I apologise for my actions. I'm sorry for the impact those actions have had on our country's reputation. I can honestly say I have only ever wanted to bring glory to my country by playing cricket. In striving to do so, I have made a decision which has had an opposite effect and it's one that I'll regret for as long as I'll live." 

Warner avoided questions regarding his specific involvement in the incident that has seen him stripped of his vice-captaincy, slapped with a 12-month ban and removed from any leadership position with the national side for the rest of his career.

"There's a tiny ray of hope that I may one day be given the privilege of playing for my country again but I'm resigned to the fact that that may never happen again," the opening batsman said.

"In the coming weeks and months I'm going to look at how this happened and who I am as a man.

"I will seek out advice and expertise to help me make serious changes."

Banned Australian players break their silence

Warner did not indicate whether he intends to appeal the ban.

He said it was difficult to watch his teammates, describing the Australian cricket team as his "family", take to the field for the fourth Test in Johannesburg without him.

The 31-year-old arrived back in Australia on Thursday having been responsible for the "development of a plan to attempt to artificially alter the condition of the ball", and "instruction to a junior player to carry out a plan", according to Cricket Australia's sanctions.

He was also charged with providing advice to Bancroft on how to tamper with the ball "including demonstrating how it could be done".

He also misled the Newlands match officials by concealing his knowledge of and involvement in the plan and did not voluntarily report his involvement.

Warner would not answer questions relating to the role of Smith or Bancroft in the incident, or any of his other Australia teammates.

"I'm here to take full responsibility for my part in this," he said. "It's extremely regrettable, I'm sorry. I just want to move on from this.

David Warner speaks to the media in Sydney // Getty
David Warner speaks to the media in Sydney // Getty

"I do realise that I'm responsible for my own actions and the consequences that that brings.

"It's heartbreaking to know that I won't be taking to the field with my teammates that I love and have let down. Right now it is hard to know what comes next but first and foremost is the wellbeing of my family."

Qantas tour of South Africa

South Africa squad: Faf du Plessis (c), Hashim Amla, Temba Bavuma, Theunis de Bruyn, Dean Elgar, Heinrich Klaasen, Quinton de Kock, Keshav Maharaj, Aiden Markram, Morne Morkel, Chris Morris, Wiaan Mulder, Lungi Ngidi, Duanne Olivier, Vernon Philander, Kagiso Rabada, AB de Villiers.

Australia squad: Joe Burns, Pat Cummins, Peter Handscomb, Josh Hazlewood, Jon Holland, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Marsh, Shaun Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Tim Paine, Matt Renshaw, Jhye Richardson, Chadd Sayers, Mitchell Starc.

Warm-up match: Australia beat South Africa A by five wickets. Report, highlights

First Test Australia won by 118 runs. Scorecard

Second Test South Africa won by six wickets. Scorecard

Third Test South Africa won by 322 runs. Scorecard

Fourth Test Wanderers, Johannesburg, March 30-April 3. Live coverage