Australia coach Darren Lehmann to step down amid ball-tampering fiasco

By @saihoops on
Darren Lehmann
Australian cricket coach Darren Lehmann walks through a police cordon at Cape Town International Airport, South Africa. March 27, 2018. Reuters / Sumaya Hisham

Under-fire Australian coach Darren Lehmann is set to resign from his position in the wake of the ball-tampering fiasco that has rocked the sport of cricket. According to several reports, a team of Cricket Australia (CA) officials are currently in South Africa to conduct a thorough investigation of the events that transpired during the third Test match at Cape Town.

According to The Telegraph, Lemann will announce his resignation over the next 24 hours. The report adds that Lemann informed CA chief executive James Sutherland of his decision on Monday (AEDT).

There have been reports that former Australian opener Justin Langer, current coach of Western Australia in the domestic circuit, is in line to take over as interim coach for the fourth Australia vs South Africa Test match that gets underway in Wanderers, Johannesburg on Friday.

Popular cricket commentator Jim Maxwell on Monday joined Simon Katich and Steve Waugh in declaring that Lehmann should be removed as head coach of the Australian cricket team.

“This has been festering for a while in Australia’s attitude. All this nonsense about not stepping over the line, the way they behaved as badly as South Africa in that rancorous test match in Durban where they kept cursing the opposition and carrying on in an aggressive way reflected the lack of judgment," Maxwell said during an ABC broadcast, via News.com.au.

“Unfortunately the arrogance that sprung from that has led to this appalling decision — premeditated — to try and do something to the condition of the ball. We know there has been ball tampering but none of it has been to this level of deceit in terms of the umpires and the opposition and the way it was perpetrated. I would think the fall out from this is that Smith will lose the captaincy, Warner the vice captaincy and Lehmann his job as the coach," Maxwell added. 

Australia captain Steve Smith and his deputy David Warner have already stepped down from their roles after pleading guilty to ball-tampering during the third day of the third Test match against South Africa at Cape Town. CA has yet to take a call on the future of the two players, who have also been suspended for the fourth Test match. Cameron Bancroft, assigned the task of tampering with the ball, escaped a ban.