Australian Test coach Darren Lehmann has confirmed he will resign from his position, becoming the latest head to roll in the on-going ball tampering scandal.

Lehmann, who previously had planned to walk away from the position following next year’s Ashes campaign in England, will instead vacate the position at the conclusion of the fourth and final test of Australia’s tumultuous tour of South Africa.

There was some speculation that Lehmann would be removed by Cricket Australia officials, who travelled to South Africa to directly deal with the incident that’s thrown cricket in Australia into absolute chaos. However the subsequent investigation found no wrongdoing or prior knowledge of the ball tampering plot on Lehmann’s behalf.

An exhausted and emotional Lehmann fronted media late last night Australian time to confirm his resignation, citing the fact that his family has been subject to rampant abuse in the days following the now-infamous incident.

I just want to let you know that this will be my last Test as head coach with the Australian cricket team as I’m stepping down.

After seeing events in the media today with Steve Smith and Cameron Bancroft, the feeling is that Australian cricket needs to move forward and this is the right thing to do. I really felt for Steve, and as I saw him crying in front of the media, and all the players are really hurting.

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

As many who sit in this room would know, life on the road means a lot of time away from our loved ones, and after speaking with my family at length over the last few days, it’s the right time to step away. Despite telling media yesterday that I’m not resigning, after viewing Steve and Cameron’s hurting, it’s only fair that I make this decision.

I’m ultimately responsible for the culture of the team and I’ve been thinking about my position for a while. I hope the team rebuilds from this, and the Australian public find it in their hearts to forgive these young men and get behind the 11 who’re going to take the field tomorrow.

Steve Smith and David Warner were handed 12-month bans from CA over the incident, while Cameron Bancroft was levelled with a 9-month suspension.

Smith fronted media at Sydney Airport late yesterday in a highly emotional appearance, offering an unreserved apology to the team and to the Australian public for his role in the scandal.

Source: ABC News
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