James Sutherland, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Cricket Australia on Tuesday said that Darren Lehmann was not guilty in the whole ball-tampering row, so will not resign from his post and continue to coach the Australian team.
Sutherland said that the prior knowledge about the whole ball-tampering issue was only limited to Australian captain Steve Smith, vice-captain David Warner, and opener Cameron Bancroft and no other member of the team had any idea of the incident.
He also announced that Tim Paine has been officially appointed as the captain for the fourth Test match between Australia and South Africa, which will be played on March 30.
Sutherland said, “Darren Lehmann has not resigned and will continue to coach the Aussie men's team. Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft all charged after it was found they had prior knowledge of the ball tampering incident. No one else was aware.”
Sutherland also announced that the fourth test will not have the three players, Smith, Warner, and Bancroft play in the game. The three players have been replaced by Matthew Renshaw, Joe Burns, and Glenn Maxwell, while Paine will be the official captain.
He added that the three new players will fly to Johannesburg within the next 24 hours and join the team’s practice, while Smith, Warner, and Bancroft will depart from South Africa on Wednesday.
Sutherland said, “Matthew Renshaw, Joe Burns and Glenn Maxwell will replace the three players charged in the Test squad. Tim Paine has officially been appointed captain.”
Sutherland also announced that sanctions will be announced in the next 24 hours by the board. He said, “In the next 24 hours, we will be in a position to announce sanctions. In addition to sanctions for individuals, Cricket Australia will initiate an independent review into the conduct and culture of our Australian men’s teams.”
The Cricket Australia has officially removed Steve Smith, David Warner, and Cameron Bancroft from the fourth Test for breaching the Cricket Australia’s Code of Conduct under Article 2.3.5.
The whole ball tampering incident came into light on Saturday when in the 43rd over of the third Test match between South Africa and Australia, Australian opener Cameron Bancroft was seen putting a “yellow tape” inside his pants on the large screen. Bancroft was seen holding a foreign object, which was later identified as a ‘yellow tape’.
He had rubbed the ball with it before hiding the object in his trousers. The whole incident, taped on the large screen, led the two-on field umpires, Richard Illingworth and Nigel Llong, to charge Bancroft of cheating, in the presence of third umpire Ian Gould and fourth umpire Allahudien Palekar.
Later, Australian captain Steve Smith admitted to the ball tampering issue and said, "We spoke about it at Lunch and I’m not proud of it. It’s not within the spirit of the game, my integrity or the team’s integrity, the leadership group’s integrity has all come to question and rightly so. It’s not on and it certainly won’t happen again I can promise you that."
Following Smith's admissal, Cricket Australia had asked Smith and Warner to step down as the captain and vice-captain of the team respectively. The board also handed a one-match suspension along with a fine of 100 per cent match fee to Smith, while Bancroft was charged a fine of 75 per cent of his match fee, along with three demerit points.