Smith’s tears force Lehmann to step down as Australia coach

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Australia’s coach Darren Lehmann

Steven Smith’s anguished arrival was the final straw. A day after vowing to stay on and drive cultural renewal, Australia’s coach Darren Lehmann bowed to the inevitable on Thursday and chose to resign at the conclusion of the Wanderers Test match after five years at the helm of the national team, saying the former captain’s tears had convinced him it was the only course of action.

Lehmann confessed to not being able to sleep since Saturday night following the team’s exposure for ball tampering. While maintaining his lack of knowledge of the plot between David Warner and Cameron Bancroft, with the approval of Smith, Lehmann conceded it was impossible for him to stay on as coach while the team and Cricket Australia continued to be under attack. The home Test series sponsor Magellan cancelled its deal on Thursday, while longtime broadcast partner Channel Nine looked the other way in signing a new five-year deal with Australian tennis.

“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 as I saw him crying in front of the media and all of the players are really hurting. As I’ve stated before I had no prior knowledge of the incident and do not condone what happened at all, but good people can make mistakes” Lehmann said. (Excerpts from ESPNcricinfo)

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