'Stain on the game': Warner breaks silence, apologises

David Warner has broken his silence and apologised for his part in the ball-tampering scandal that has likely brought about the end of his international cricket career.

The opening batsman was banned for 12 months alongside Steve Smith, but its investigations found Warner to be the player responsible for instigating the Cape Town saga.

"To cricket fans in Australia and all over the world: I am currently on my way back to Sydney," he wrote in a statement on Thursday afternoon.

"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.

"I need to take a deep breath and spend time with my family, friends and trusted advisers. You will hear from me in a few days."

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David Warner. Pic: AAP

Warner is unlikely to play cricket for Australia when his suspension ends in early 2019, with CA already declaring he will never hold a leadership position again.

The 31-year-old, who has been dropped by sponsors LG and Asics, was revealed by CA to have developed the plot to alter the condition of the ball, instructed Cameron Bancroft to carry out the plan using sandpaper and advised the young batsman how to do so.

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"He was sitting in the dressing room with Bancroft and they came up with this ruse," veteran commentator Jim Maxwell told ABC radio.

"As I understand it, Steve looked over to them and said, ‘What are you blokes up to? Oh, I don’t want to know’. He went out onto the field and he probably should have been more vigilant, as I said.”

That report was backed up by a source who told AFP that Smith was sidetracked when he spoke with Warner and Bancroft in the dressing room.

"He (Warner) spoke with Cameron (Bancroft) in the change room while Smith was otherwise engaged, seemingly with a lot on his mind," a Cricket Australia source told AFP.

"I believe Smith knew something was going on, but did not try to find out exactly what."

Smith and Bancroft will speak to the media in Sydney and Perth respectively later this afternoon.