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Australia’s David Warner apologizes for ball-tampering scandal

AFP-JIJI

Disgraced Australian opener David Warner Thursday apologized to fans and said he took responsibility for his part in a ball-tampering scandal that has shocked the cricket world.

“Mistakes have been made which have damaged cricket,” he said on Instagram in breaking his silence over the incident in the third Test against South Africa last weekend.

“I apologize for my part and take responsibility for it.”

Vice-captain Warner, along with skipper Steve Smith, have been banned from all international and domestic cricket for a year for their behavior.

Opening batsman Cameron Bancroft was suspended for nine months.

Warner, a hard-hitting batsman but divisive figure in the world game, has become the focus of Australian media, who blame him for the scandal.

He was charged by Cricket Australia with developing the plan to use sandpaper to alter the ball and instructing Bancroft to carry it out.

“I understand the distress this has caused the sport and its fans,” Warner, who is on his way back to Sydney, told his 1.6 million Instagram followers. “It’s a stain on the game we all love and I have loved since I was a boy.

“I need to take a deep breath and spend time with my family, friends and trusted advisers. You will hear from me in a few days.”

The fallout from the crisis has seen Warner dumped by sponsors ASICS and LG.

Along with Smith, he has also been ejected from this year’s Indian Premier League, losing contracts worth nearly $2 million each.