Australia ball-tampering scandal -- who's saying what


Johannesburg (AFP)

Australia ball-tampering scandal -- who's saying what on Twitter and at news conferences:

"I take full responsibility, I made a serious error of judgement and I understand the consequences. It was a failure of leadership."

-- Disgraced skipper Steve Smith accepts his role in the ball tampering plot before breaking down in tears on arrival back in Sydney

"Mistakes have been made which have damaged cricket. I apologise for my part and take responsibility for it. It's a stain on the game we all love and I have loved since I was a boy."

-- David Warner who was blamed for hatching the plot

"It is something I will regret for the rest of my life. All I can do in the short term is ask for forgiveness."

-- Cameron Bancroft who was pictured using sandpaper to alter the condition of the ball

"This will be my last Test as head coach of the Australian cricket team. Saying goodbye to the players was the toughest thing I have ever had to do."

-- A tearful Darren Lehmann announces he will quit the scandal-hit Australia team after the fourth and final Test of the ongoing series against South Africa in Johannesburg

"My family and I have copped a lot of abuse over the last week and it's taken its toll."

-- Lehmann explains a more personal factor behind his decision


-- Smith's predecessor Michael Clarke's reaction to the captain's tearful press appearance in Sydney

"Just seen @stevesmith49's press conference. As a parent, I'm gutted for him & his family! Shout me down if you want, but I'm speaking as a parent! It will get better mate!"

-- Ex-England batsman Kevin Pietersen offers a consoling word

"Just watched Smith presser. Hope everybody has had their pound of flesh now."

-- Former England batsman Mark Butcher echoing the thoughts of many

"'Good people make mistakes' ... I honestly think Steve Smith & Cam Bancroft are decent guys who had a moment of madness ... they deserve a 2nd chance and hopefully get the right support around them now ... Takes a lot guts to do what they did today."

-- Former England captain Michael Vaughan shows support for Smith and Bancroft but not Warner

"At least Steve Smith has the courage to admit like a man but absolutely gutted to see Steve Smith breaking down @ the press conference & also they way people treating him @ Airport & in Australia it's sad leave that poor chap alone now."

-- Ex-Pakistan bowler Shoaib Akhtar, the fastest in the world, hails Smith's courage

"The spirit of the game is of utmost importance, there's no denying that. They made a mistake and they accepted it. It would be unfair of me to sit here and question the board's decision, but they are great players and I don't think this should define them."

-- Indian vice-captain Rohit Sharma hopes the trio can rebound into cricket

"And boy do I hope that a lot of us are completely wrong in thinking these 3 weren't the only ones to know, cos it?ll be A WHOLE LOT WORSE for those who knew, if they did...!"

-- Pietersen rounds off, with question marks over how no Australians bowlers seemingly knew of a plan designed to help them swing the ball when bowling