In the wake of ball-tampering scandal, Australia coach Darren Lehmann has announced that he is going to step down from the post after the fourth and final Test against South Africa.
A tearful Lehmann has been quoted as saying, “As many who sit in this room will know, life on the road means a lot of time away from loved ones and after speaking to my family, it is the right time to step away.” Even though former captain Steve Smith insisted that Lehmann had no idea about their decision to tamper the ball, the 48-year old has announced that it is the right time to step away.
“Speaking to the players and saying goodbye is the toughest thing I have had to do. Its been happening for a few days and you think you can keep going but the amount of abuse just takes it toll. They made a mistake. I hope the team rebuilds and the Australian public can forgive the young men and get behind the XI,” he said.
Adding that this was completely his decision, Lehmann said, “Speaking to my family, they’ve had enough of traveling 300 days. This was entirely my decision. I have been speaking to the hierarchy in the last couple of days.” Lehmann’s announcement comes hours after an emotional press conference of Smith, who broke down a number of times as he expressed regret over his decision.
When asked his proudest achievement as head coach, Lehman, who took over from South African Mickey Arthur as Australia’s head coach back in 2013, said, “I would say the way we dealt with Philip Hughes’s passing. We’re only playing a game.”
The decision comes in light of the ball-tampering scandal that has shaken the Australian cricket. During the third Test, Cameron Bancroft was found guilty of using yellow tape to tamper with the ball and Smith has taken full responsibility for it. Following the episode, Smith and vice-captain David Warner have been banned for one year by Cricket Australia.
South Africa and Australia will compete in the 4th Test of the 4-match series from Thursday at Wanderers in Johannesburg.