Coach Darren Lehmann of the Australian Cricket Team arrives at OR Tambo International Airport after the team was caught cheating in the Sunfoil Test Series between between Australia and South Africa on March 27, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / GULSHAN KHAN (Photo credit should read GULSHAN KHAN/AFP/Getty Images)

Lehmann to front media

Australian cricket coach Darren Lehmann has been cleared of any involvement in the ball tampering saga and will speak to the media late on Wednesday night.

After an investigation by Cricket Australia, Lehmann was found to have no knowledge of the ball-tampering plan conspired by senior players Steve Smith and David Warner and executed by Cameron Bancroft, during the third test against South Africa in Cape Town.

Lehmann has been unable to speak publicly about the situation while CA have been conducting their investigation but now that he has been cleared of any involvement, he will be speaking to the media in Johannesburg.

Lehmann claims to have been completely unaware of what the players were doing but was seen speaking into a two-way radio to sub fielder Peter Handscomb who then ran onto the field and gave a message to Cameron Bancroft.

Bancroft was then seen putting the piece of tape used to alter the surface of the ball, into his pants.

CEO James Sutherland has thrown his support behind Lehmann and expects him to see out his current contract as coach of the Australian cricket team which expires next year.

Sutherland also denied reports by a UK newspaper that claimed Lehmann was stepping down as coach.

“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,” Sutherland said.

“He will continue to coach the Australian men’s team under his current contract.”

Former Australian captain, Allan Border has also backed Lehmann as coach and believes he was not involved in the saga.

“We’re talking about one of the good guys in Australian cricket,” Border told Fox Sports News.

“He’s done a fantastic job with that team and if he wasn’t aware of what was going on, there’s no problem at all.

“If (CA’s) integrity officer has been through and interviewed people and he’s satisfied that Darren Lehmann didn’t know specifically what was going on at the time, I’m very relaxed.

“That’s a good news item, isn’t it, not the other way.”

While Border supports Lehmann as coach, he believes the Australian cricket team as a whole are not popular amongst the rest of the cricket community.

“I think this goes a bit deeper than just straight out ball tampering,” he added.

“The Australian cricket team itself is not a popular cricket team and a lot of their antics on the field have upset a lot of people. And anyone with axe to grind has an opportunity now to stick the knife in.

“Is Darren Lehmann involved in that? Yes he probably is. He has to have long hard look at the portrayal of what the Australian cricket team is all about and how it’s perceived. He’ll have to take stock of all of that.

“He’ll be under a lot of pressure as far as that’s concerned. But the ball tampering situation, he didn’t know anything about that and he’s got things to do going forward.”

Comments