David Warner, identified by Cricket Australia (CA) as the man behind the plan to tamper with the ball during the Cape Town Test versus South Africa, has apologised for “the distress he has caused the sport and its fans”.

Warner’s Twitter statement read: “To cricket fans in Australia and all over the world: I am currently on my way to Sydney. 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 to 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 advisors. You will hear from me in a few days.”

On Wednesday, the opening batsman was banned from international and domestic cricket by CA for 12 months and barred from assuming any kind of leadership position in Australian cricket in the future. Rumours of the trio’s bans had surfaced earlier on Wednesday before CA released an official statement.

An investigation by CA’s head of integrity, Iain Roy, confirmed Warner, the former vice-captain, was charged with “development of a plan to attempt to artificially alter the condition of the ball and instruction to a junior player (Cameron Bancroft) to carry out a plan to take steps to attempt to artificially alter the condition of the ball using sandpaper,” which was previously thought to be tape.

[caption id=”attachment_64571″ align=”alignnone” width=”800″]Waner Apoligises For Ball Tampering Cameron Bancroft and Steve Smith address the media in Cape Town.[/caption]

Former captain Steve Smith, who CA found to have been aware of the ploy without having direct involvement, also faces a twelve-month ban but may be considered for a leadership position upon his return. Bancroft has been banned for nine-months.

Warner and Smith have also had their lucrative IPL contracts cancelled for the 2018 season, while there were unofficial reports on Tuesday that both the Australian players and CA wanted Warner out of the team.