Cameron Bancroft has apologised for his role in the ball tampering scandal engulfing Australian cricket.
“I’m very disappointed and I regret my actions … It is something I will regret for the rest of my life. All I can do is ask for forgiveness,” he said at a press conference at the WACA ground.
“I lied. I lied about the sandpaper and I panicked in that situation and I’m very sorry”.
The young opener has been suspended from playing cricket for nine months, while captain Steve Smith and vice-captain David Warner have been rubbed out for a year.
They will be replaced on the tour of South Africa by Matt Renshaw, Glenn Maxwell and Joe Burns.
“The thing that breaks my heart the most is that I’ve given up my spot in the team for free,” he said.
“People know I worked so hard to get to this point in my career and to have given up that chance for free is devastating.”
Cricket Australia chairman David Peever said he hoped the players would be able to return to cricket after the suspension.
Smith has also spoken to media at Sydney Airport.
“I hope in time, I can earn back respect and forgiveness” he said
“Ive been so privileged to represent my country and be captain of the Australian cricket team … I’m sorry and am absolutely devastated”.