Sydney, Mar 29 (PTI) An emotional Steve Smith broke down repeatedly as he took full responsibility for the ball-tampering scandal, saying he is simply gutted right now and would regret the incident for the rest of his life. Also Read - 7 Countries Indians Are Not Allowed to Visit Yet Including Malaysia And Germany

“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,” a tearful Smith said in a five-minute press conference after being sent home in disgrace from South Africa. Also Read - RR vs MI 2020, IPL Today Match Report: Ben Stokes Slams Hundred as Rajasthan Royals Beat Mumbai Indians by 8 Wickets to Keep Playoff Hopes Alive

“I take full responsibility … There was a failure of leadership, of my leadership. I’ll do everything I can to make up for my mistake and the damage it’s caused. Also Read - Joe Root Calls Virat Kohli as The Most Complete Player Across Formats

“I don’t blame anyone. I’m the captain of the Australian team. It’s on my watch and I take responsibility for what happened last Saturday,” he said referring to the incident during the third Test against South Africa in Cape Town.

Smith and vice-captain David Warner were slapped with one-year bans for plotting the episode in which Cameron Bancroft was caught on camera pulling out sand paper to scruff up the ball.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.