Steve Smith: 'I'll regret this for the rest of my life'

A distraught Steve Smith asked for forgiveness and hoped he could earn back the respect of his fans in time.

Steve Smith: "If any good can come of this, it can be a lesson to others, and I hope can be a cause for change."   -  AFP

Steve Smith was visibly moved as he addressed reporters upon his arrival in Sydney. Apologising for his transgression, Smith said, "To all of my teammates, to fans of cricket all over the world and to all Australians who are disappointed and angry. I'm sorry. It was a huge error of judgement on my behalf."

Asked if this was the first ball-tampering incident by Australia under his watch, Smith said, "To my knowledge, this is the first time it has happened. I can assure you it will never happen again."

 

But what was going through his mind when he did this?

"For me, my week has been around 'good people make mistakes'. I've made a big mistake by allowing this to happen," he admitted before adding, "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... [breaks down] ... and my mum, it hurts."

The world's No. 1 Test batsman repeatedly apologised for crossing the line in the third Test against South Africa. "I love the game of cricket. I love entertaining young kids ... I just want to say sorry for the pain I've brought to Australia, to the fans and the public," he said.

Hoping to make amends for his mistake, Smith said, "I will do everything I can do to make up for my mistake and the damage it has caused. If any good can come of this, it can be a lesson to others, and I hope can be a cause for change."