Johannesburg - Australian coach Darren Lehmann had no knowledge of his team’s attempt to tamper with the ball, Cricket Australia’s CEO James Sutherland insists.
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Sutherland was speaking at a press conference at the Australian team’s hotel in Johannesburg on Tuesday night where he said captain Steve Smith, vice-captain David Warner and opening batsman Cameron Bancroft would be sent home for their role in the ball-tampering scandal which occurred in the third Test against South Africa at Newlands last weekend.
Reports earlier on Tuesday indicated that Lehmann would resign as coach but Sutherland insisted that it was not the case.
He said Lehmann had no knowledge of the ball-tampering plans and would continue in his role as head coach.
Sutherland said that the Cricket Australia investigation had found that only Smith, Warner and Bancroft had been in on the plot to tamper with the ball, and that "significant" sanctions would be issued in 24 hours once the investigations were completed."Prior knowledge of the ball tampering incident was limited to three players... No other players or support staff had prior knowledge and this includes Darren Lehmann, who despite inaccurate media reports, has not resigned from his position. He will continue to coach the Australia men's team under his current contract," said Sutherland.
Smith has already been suspended for one Test and docked his entire match fee by the International Cricket Council (ICC) in a scandal which has seen Australian cricket's reputation dragged through the mud.
Australia, meanwhile, have named Matt Renshaw, Glenn Maxwell and Joe Burns as replacements for the fourth Test at the Wanderers, while wicketkeeper Tim Paine has been officially appointed captain of the Australian team.
The fourth and final Test starts on Friday.
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