My actions in ball-tampering scandal a ‘stain’ on cricket, admits Warner

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David Warner has labelled his plan to tamper with a ball during a Test match against South Africa a “stain on the game”.

The former Australia vice-captain has been charged with devising the plot which saw Cameron Bancroft rough the ball with sandpaper at the Cape Town Test.

He, along with captain Steve Smith, have been banned from international and domestic cricket for 12 months, while Bancroft was also sanctioned for his role by Cricket Australia.

Posting on Twitter, Warner said: “Mistakes have been made which have damaged cricket.

“I apologise for my part and take responsibility for it.

“I understand the distress this has caused the sport and its fans.

“It’s a stain on the game we all love and I have loved since I was a boy.”

It comes as former captain Smith is due to face the media in Sydney after being sent home from South Africa in disgrace.

Steve Smith and David Warner were both banned after the scandal (Nick Potts/PA)
Steve Smith and David Warner were both banned after the scandal (Nick Potts/PA)

Hamish Douglass, chief executive of Magellan, said: “Regrettably, these recent events are so inconsistent with our values that we are left with no option but to terminate our ongoing partnership with Cricket Australia.

“We were delighted with the recent Magellan Ashes Series sponsorship and it is with a heavy heart that we have to end our partnership in these circumstances.”

Cameron Bancroft has also been punished (Jason O’Brien/PA)
Cameron Bancroft has also been punished (Jason O’Brien/PA)

He said: “I think it just shows that everyone watching the game, and anyone who supports cricket, supports how they want to see the game played.

“In terms of the bans, that’s a decision Cricket Australia had to make – and that’s for them to decide.

“But the point is they’ve put a statement out there not just for Cricket Australia but for world cricket – and the reaction (to that) is all to do with how people want to watch cricket.”

Steve Smith was captain of the Australia side which won the Ashes 4-0 (Jason O'Brien/PA)
Steve Smith was captain of the Australia side which won the Ashes 4-0 (Jason O’Brien/PA)

In announcing the severe punishments, CA revealed Warner, 31, had been charged with devising the plan, instructing a junior player – Bancroft – to carry it out and even demonstrating how to do it.

Warner and Smith had already stepped down from their roles as skipper for the Sunrisers Hyderabad and Rajasthan Royals respectively before their punishment was announced, and the IPL has since confirmed both men would be banned “with immediate effect from participation” in the lucrative Twenty20 tournament this year.

All three players, sent home from South Africa, will be permitted to play club cricket to maintain links with the cricket community.

Smith has also lost his endorsement deal with Australian breakfast cereal Weet-Bix.

“Weet-Bix ambassadors represent our brand values of trust and integrity and they speak to everything that is good about being Australian,” Todd Saunders, executive general manager for Sanitarium Australia, the owners of Weet-Bix, said in a statement sent to Press Association Sport.

“Their role as a ‘Weet-Bix Kid’ is to inspire millions of Aussie kids to be the best they can be. Based on the ball tampering incident and the findings of Cricket Australia’s investigation, we are unable to continue our relationship with Steve Smith.

“We recognise the immense pressure and the consequent health and well-being impacts this incident has had, and will continue to have, on the players concerned and on the broader Australian cricket team. As such, Sanitarium has offered support to Cricket Australia to ensure that player well-being is a priority at this time.”

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