Health Care

Lehmann to quit as Australia coach after 4th Test

While maintaining his lack of knowledge of the plot between David Warner and Cameron Bancroft, with the approval of Smith, Lehmann conceded it was impossible for him to stay on as coach while the team and Cricket Australia continued to be under attack.

Australian cricket has been in a tizzy since the turn of events on Day 3 of the Newlands Test last Saturday which eventually culminated with lengthy bans for the trio - Smith, David Warner and Bancroft - found guilty of the transgression.

Smith and vice-skipper Warner have been banned for a year by Cricket Australia, while Bancroft was given a nine-month ban. These were the words that Australia coach Darren Lehmann is supposed to have told substitute Peter Handscomb via the walkie-talkie after visuals of Cameron Bancroft using what is now known to be a piece of sandpaper to work on the ball were shown on the giant screen.

Some former cricketers have doubted that Lehmann would have been in the dark about such a sinister plan, and Sutherland hinted that the coach would have to accept some accountability about the incident that has considerably damaged Australian cricket's image.

Australia's team culture has come under fire in the wake of the scandal that sent shock waves through cricketing world, from the way the team behaves on the field to the way they are perceived by the public.

"Speaking to the players and saying goodbye was the toughest thing I've ever had to do".

"The first I saw of it was on that screen, I got straight on the walky-talky and said something".

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

Speaking for the first time since he was cleared of knowing about the premeditated plan, Lehmann admitted he is "immensely" anxious about the players' health as they prepare for a backlash on their return to Australia.

Speaking about the toll the drama has taken on Smith, Bancroft and Warner, Lehmann said the "abuse. takes it's toll".

In handing out their tough punishment, Australian cricket chiefs bowed to uproar at home where sportsmen and women are held in high esteem and expected to act in the best interests of the game.

Stand-in Australian captain Tim Paine had expected to address media at the Wanderers on Thursday ahead of the fourth Test against the Proteas, but instead Lehmann arrived and delivered the news. "Maybe go and watch my son play some cricket would be quite nice".

"At this present time, you'll hear from me in couple of days".

Lehmann was appointed in 2013 to bring back hard-headed Australian values many felt had disappeared under Mickey Arthur, who Sutherland sacked, in part, for failures of discipline.

"Cricket is the greatest game in the world". So for me looking forward to having some time off and what's the next step from there.

"The players have made a grave mistake but they are not bad people". Then I spoke to the players at tea time and said we would deal with it at the end of play, which happened through the process.

"We're only playing a game, that's all we're playing", he sobbed.

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