Darren Lehmann quits as Australian head coach

Kristopher Nichols
March 30, 2018

Nearly simultaneously, sporting goods company ASICS announced it was ending its relationship with David Warner and Cameron Bancroft, two of the players at the heart of the cheating incident.

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

- Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull brands the actions of Smith and Bancroft "a shocking disappointment" and calls for Cricket Australia to take "decisive action soon", adding: "It seemed completely beyond belief that the Australian cricket team had been involved in cheating".

"This will allow Cricket Australia to complete a full review into the culture of the team and allow them to implement changes to regain the trust of the Australian public".

There has been a raging debate over whether the sanctions handed down by the Australian cricket board were too harsh, and Twitter has been abuzz. Cricket has been my life and I hope it can be again.

South Africa captain Faf du Plessis was fined, but not banned for ball-tampering during the 2016 Test victory over Australia in Hobart.

He also denied it had happened before, following suggestions similar tactics were employed in the recent Ashes series against England.

"Saying goodbye to the players was the toughest thing I have ever had to do".

Lehmann overlooked 2015 World Cup glory and Ashes series wins when asked to nominate his proudest moment as coach. "It's a stain on the game". "I panicked and I'm very sorry", a contrite Bancroft admitted on Thursday.

Almost 4,000 kilometers (2,500 miles) west in Perth, an emotional Bancroft apologized and said he will forever regret his role in the episode that resulted in 12-month bans for Smith and Warner and a nine-month ban for him.

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The 25-year-old Bancroft, playing in only his eight Test match, was suspended for nine months.

Disgraced Australian captain Steve Smith breaks down in tears while speaking to media at Sydney Airport.

"The two other things are that, any time you think about making a questionable decision, think about who you're affecting, you're affecting your parents".

"To see the way my old man has been", he said, breaking down and struggling for his words, "and my mum, it hurts".

"To all my of team mates, fans of cricket all over the world and all Australians who are disappointed and angry, I am sorry", said an emotional Smith. "That was a failure of leadership, my leadership". Lehmann said he was "ultimately responsible for the culture of the team" and added: "Despite telling media yesterday that I'm not resigning, after reviewing Steve and Cameron's hurting it's only fair that I make this decision".

"I just want to let you know that this will be my last Test as head coach of Australia cricket as I am stepping down".

Skipper Steve Smith and vice-captain David Warner were suspended from "all worldwide and domestic cricket" for a year. Lehmann says he made the decision after watching coverage of Steve Smith and Cameron Bancroft returning home having confessed to cheating in the third test last weekend.

"I love the game of cricket and entertaining kids".

Holding one of his children and with his wife next to him with another, Warner said his priority was to "get these kids in bed, rest up, and let my mind be clear so I can talk to you in a couple of days". Former South Africa bowler Fanie de Villiers, working as a television commentator at Newlands, said he had tipped off the camera crew that caught Bancroft in the act.

Wicketkeeper Tim Paine will take over the Australian captaincy for the fourth and final Test starting in Johannesburg on Friday.

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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