Disgraced Steve Smith breaks down in tears in emotional apology

Former Australian cricket captain Steve Smith has broken down in tears while apologising for a cheating scandal that has engulfed the side over the last week.

On Sunday, Smith admitted he sanctioned a plan for fellow player Cameron Bancroft to deliberately tamper with the ball using sandpaper during the third test against South Africa.

Speaking on Thursday night, Smith became very emotional and broke down in tears on more than one occasion.

"It was a huge error of judgement on my behalf and I'm sorry," he said.

"I'm deeply sorry, I love the game of cricket, I love entertaining young kids and them wanting to play.

"I'm sorry and I'm absolutely devastated."

"It hurts," he said, erupting in a flood of tears.

Bancroft spoke at a separate press conference earlier in the day, opening up about the shame he felt in the days since the cheating saga first came to light.

"The thing that breaks my heart the most is that I've given my spot in the team to somebody else, for free," he said.

"Everyone's really disappointed with what we've done to the game. It's a great disappointment and realisation that we need to improve.

"[Ball-tampering] completely comprises my values and what I stand for."

On Wednesday, Cricket Australia handed 12-month bans down to Smith and his vice-captain David Warner, and a nine-month ban to Bancroft.