Darren Lehmann to resign as Australia coach; CA mulls 12-month ban for Steve Smith, David Warner: Report

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Amidst the ongoing ball-tampering saga, involving Cameron Bancroft and Steve Smith, that overshadowed South Africa’s 322-run win over Australia in the 3rd Test at Cape Town, it is learned that the Aussie head coach Darren Lehmann has apparently informed Cricket Australia (CA) of his decision to quit immediately. It is said that his decision could be made official in next 24 hours. CA’s decision on skipper Steve Smith and vice-captain David Warner is also awaited. While severe penalties like life bans are being talked about, the two can reportedly receive a 12-month ban each as part of their involvement in the incident.

As per a report in the UK Daily Telegraph, Lehmann’s decision to step down as head coach will be made public before the fourth Test of the ongoing South Africa series, and this is the primary reason behind Cricket Australia CEO James Sutherland’s desire to fly all the way to the Rainbow Nation. Upon his arrival, Sutherland will meet the players and coaching staff in Johannesburg before revealing in a press conference what the future would be like for Lehmann, Smith, Warner and Bancroft. (READ | What Steve Smith did was ‘absolute stupidity’, says Sourav Ganguly)

Lehmann, who has been fulfilling coaching duties for five years now, has won two Ashes series and a World Cup. While there have been suggestions of his involvement in the planning leading to the ball-tampering incident, skipper Smith has kept Lehmann aside and said the ‘leadership group’ was involved in the incident.

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