David Warner has spoken publicly for the first time about the cricket ball-tampering saga that saw him banned from the sport for 12 months and to never hold a leadership position in a national side again.
In a press conference on Saturday morning, the 31-year-old former Australian vice-captain said he took “full responsibility” for what happened in South Africa.
“To the fans and the lovers of the game, who have supported and inspired me on my journey as a cricketer, I want to sincerely apologise for betraying your trust in me. I have let you down badly. I hope in time I can find a way to repay for all you have given me and possibly earn your respect again,” he said.
“To my teammates and support staff, I apologise for my actions and I take full responsibility for my part on what happened.”
However, it was when he began to speak of how he sought to protect his family in the wake of the saga that Warner broke down sobbing.
“Right now it is hard to know what comes next, but first and foremost is the well-being of my family.
“I want to apologise to my family, especially my wife and daughters. Your love means – your love means more than anything to me. I know I would not be anything without you. I am very sorry for putting you through this and I promise you that I will never put you in this position again,” he said between tears, as the camera panned to wife Candice sobbing.
Later, when asked if the sledging of his wife had an impact on his headspace during that test series, Warner acknowledged the circumstances were difficult, but stopped short of saying it was the reason behind the ball-tampering.
“It’s tough. It’s tough for me to talk about where my thoughts base was on that given the
circumstances that happened in Durbin. But I’m here to take full responsibility,” he said.
We unpack the ball tampering on the latest episode of Mamamia Out Loud. Post continues after audio.
He went on to say he would sit down and think about his next step, not confirming if retirement is on the cards.
“That’s something that I will continue to sit down with my family and weigh up all my considerations before I make any decisions.”
Despite being questioned by journalists as to whether he was “holding back on some of his answers” and if he was being “made a scapegoat” in a plot that involved far more than just the three players suspended, Warner ended the press conference mid-answer, finishing only by re-hashing a well-trodden line that he “accepts full responsibility”.
The father-of-two faced criticism on Thursday after landing in Sydney from South Africa for refusing to hold a press conference like his teammates Steve Smith and Cameron Bancroft did.
“At the present time, you’ll hear from me in a couple of days,” he told the press, walking out of the airport with his wife Candice and the couple’s two kids.
“At the moment, my priority is to get these kids in bed, and rest up and get my mind a bit clear so I can think, and talk in a couple of days. Thanks guys.”