David Warner apologises for #Sandpapergate

Banned Australian batsman David Warner has apologised for his role in the ball tampering incident that has shocked the world of cricket in the last week.

David Warner apologised to all Australian cricket fans and fans around the world for his role in the scandal via his official Twitter account.

JOHANNESBURG - Banned Australian batsman David Warner has apologised for his role in the ball-tampering incident that has shocked the world of cricket and forced the banning of Warner, Steve Smith and Cameron Bancroft.

Warner and Smith were given 12-month suspensions for hatching a plan to alter the condition of the ball using sandpaper on day three of the third Test at Newlands in Cape Town, while Bancroft, the enforcer, was given a nine-month suspension.

Warner apologised to all Australian cricket fans and fans around the world for his role in the scandal via his official Twitter account.

Warner's statement reads: “To cricket fans in Australia and all around the world: I am currently on my way back to Sydney. Mistakes have been made that have damaged cricket. I apologise for my part and take responsibility for it. I understand the distress that it's caused the sport and its fans. It’s a stain on the sport we all love, and I have loved since I was a boy. I need to take a deep breath and spend some time with my family, friends and trusted advisors. You will hear from me in a few days.”

The fourth and final Test match gets underway on Friday at the Wanderers, with Tim Paine taking over the captaincy from Smith.

As well as the ignominy of being identified as the main villain of the piece in the Cricket Australia report, Warner has paid a heavy financial penalty for his misjudgement.

A subsequent ban from the Indian Premier League (IPL) cost him $1.85 million (R21.85m) this season, while sports manufacturer ASICS and technology giant LG have both said they would no longer work with him.

Warner is expected to land in his home city in the late evening local time on a separate flight from Smith but confirmed that he would not be taking the opportunity to address media.