Ball-Tempering Scandal: With Smith-Warner Under The Axe, Coach Darren Lehmann Plans To Resign

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| March 27 , 2018 , 17:34 IST

The bizarre incident of ball-tampering by Australian players during the Third test with South Africa has left the entire world of cricket shaken. After the pacer Cameron Bancroft was caught fiddling with a foreign object on-field, skipper Steve Smith admitted to having knowledge about the stunt.

Admitting to being a part of the scandal, Smith confirmed that none of the coaching staff was aware of their strategy. While the statement should have relieved the cricket lovers, questions about coach Darren Lehmann's lack of control over the Australian team couldn't be suppressed.

Former Aussie skipper Michael Clarke has questioned Lehmann's authority stating, "The Australian head coach hasn't got control of this Australian team," adding, "And if he does know about it, then he's as accountable as anybody else."

Noting the escalating criticism over the cheating scandal, Coach Lehmann is set to resign from his position from immediate effect. The Cricket Australia is expected to announce the result of their investigation in the case by Tuesday evening along with a series of punishments for the involved players.

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The national governing body is reportedly considering to ban Steve Smith and David Warner for a year from the International cricket but no certain decision has yet been made. The International Cricket Council (ICC) has earlier handed Smith a one-match suspension and fined 100% of his match fee.

While the Aussie players maintained that Lehmann had no part to play in the conspiracy, the certain evidence says otherwise. Maintaining an eerie silence in the matter so far, the former test batsman was noted conveying the message to Bancroft through the ground staff during the match about him being caught while cheating.

The ongoing controversy has snatched Steve Smith's captaincy in the forthcoming Indian Premier League. Replacing the Aussie player, Rajasthan Royals has appointed Ajinkya Rahane as the new skipper. The franchise officials conveyed that the decision has been taken in team's best interest.

In the disappointing incident unfolded on Sunday, Cameron Bancroft was seen tampering with the ball on-field with a yellow sandpaper-like object. The umpires saw him fiddling with the ball using a foreign object. While the umpires discussed Bancroft tried to hide the yellow object in his underwear but unluckily, the action was caught on camera.