Distraught Steve Smith breaks down in tears

Cameron Bancroft has been sent home from Australia's tour of South Africa

Cameron Bancroft has been sent home from Australia's tour of South Africa

Earlier on Thursday, the disgraced opener issued a statement on social media while en route back from South Africa after being handed a 12-month ban alongside Steve Smith for his role in the scandal.

"Through the last few days and sitting in my own company and thinking the thing that breaks my heart is the fact that I've just given up my spot in the team to somebody else for free", he said.

Meanwhile, Smith said he took "full responsibility" for a "serious error of judgement".

Several former players have slammed the Australian trio for what they call as a premeditated cheating. So it is only fair that these players be left alone to serve their bans, without harassing them publicly in such a harsh fashion.

"Firstly that I'm deeply sorry".

"There is a human side of this". I'm absolutely gutted. I hope in time I can earn back respect and forgiveness. "Their health and well-being is extremely important to us", Lehmann had said in his first public comments since the scandal broke.

"I worry about the three guys immensely".

"Its (sic) a stain on the game we all love and I have loved since I was a boy".

"I'm not going to resign".

"The team has been seen quite negatively in recent times and there is a need for us to change some of the philosophies about the way we play".

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Asked what his proudest moment in charge was, he replied: "I would say the way we dealt with Phillip Hughes' passing".

As to whether the Australian team had engaged in ball tampering previously, Smith maintained that this was the first, only and, arguably, last time it would ever be attempted. There were a couple of expletives in there.

"What happened down there has certainly created additional urgency that something needs to be done as quickly as possible", chief executive David Richardson said on Thursday.

Lehmann said the decision to quit was his, and that he was not fired by his bosses over the scandal that has plunged the team into a crisis.

"Everyone has their views out there, but they made a mistake". Saying goodbye to them is hard.

Smith, wearing a sports jacket and drawing deep breaths as he spoke, addressed the fans and the children of Australia who wanted to know why he'd cheated. "And this can be a big challenge but the boys will be doing whatever possible they can to make people proud of them".

The role of coach Darren Lehmann was also clarified, with Sutherland explaining that the TV footage showing him speaking into a walkie-talkie as the incident unfolded was not Lehmann warning the players. "All the players are really hurting".

Lehmann was speaking to Australian media only, after local South African journalists and worldwide news agencies were barred from the news conference. However, Cameron has been banned only for nine months as a conclusion made by the investigation of Cricket Australia.

"It is not unusual for travelling teams to hold exclusives for their travelling media contingent".

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