Lehmann steps down as Australia coach

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Johannesburg : Darren Lehmann has announced that the Johannesburg Test will be his last as Australia coach, as the ball-tampering scandal that occurred in the Cape Town Test continues to take its toll on Australian cricket.

“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,” an emotional Lehmann on the eve of the fourth Test against South Africa at the Wanderers. “I hope the team rebuilds and the Australian public can forgive the young men and get behind the XI.”

Lehmann’s decision to step down as coach came despite a Cricket Australia inquiry that claimed he had no prior knowledge of David Warner, Steven Smith and Cameron Bancroft’s plan to tamper with the ball on the third day at Newlands. He made his announcement hours after Smith broke down in front of reporters at a press conference in Sydney.

“Speaking to the players and saying goodbye is the toughest thing I have had to do,” Lehmann said. “It’s 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. 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.”

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