Australia cricket coach to step down as ball-tampering fallout continues

Australia cricket coach to step down as ball-tampering fallout continues

Darren Lehmann will leave his post as Australia's head coach after the fourth Test against South Africa, which begins on Friday.

Lehmann has joined the casualties of Australia's Cape Town debacle in which opening batsman Cameron Bancroft attempted to use sandpaper to change the condition of the ball on day three of the third Test against South Africa.

Cricket Australia confirmed Lehmann's departure, which had appeared unlikely when it was announced earlier in the week that he would remain in his post until the end of his contract - which was due to run until the end of the 2019 Ashes series in England.

Australia captain Steve Smith, vice-captain David Warner and Bancroft were given lengthy bans for their roles in the ball-tampering controversy on Wednesday.

Here, we look back at how the incident has unfolded.

March 24

- Bancroft is seen on television running his hand over the rough side of the ball while fielding, before removing a small yellow object from his pocket and placing it down the front of his trousers.

- Match officials charge Bancroft at stumps with changing the condition of the ball.

- Australia captain Steve Smith says at the end of the second day's play that he is "incredibly sorry" for bringing the game "into disrepute".

- Smith admits during a press conference that: "The leadership group knew about it and spoke about it at lunch. I'm not proud of what's happened, it's not within the spirit of the game."

- Speaking alongside Smith, Bancroft admits: "We had a discussion during the break and on myself, I saw an opportunity to use some tape and granules from rough patches of the wicket to change the ball's condition."

- Former England captain Michael Vaughan posts on Twitter: "Steve Smith, his Team & ALL the management will have to accept that whatever happens in their careers they will all be known for trying to CHEAT the game ... #SAvAUS"

March 25

- Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland says he is "extremely disappointed and shocked" by Smith and Bancroft's admission, calling it a "sad day" for Australian cricket.

- Former Australia wicketkeeper Adam Gilchrist says he is "stunned", "shocked" and "embarrassed" by Smith's admission of premeditated ball-tampering.

- The Australian Sports Commission says in a statement: "Given the admission by Australian captain Steve Smith, the ASC calls for him to be stood down immediately by Cricket Australia, along with any other members of the team leadership group or coaching staff who had prior awareness of, or involvement in, the plan to tamper with the ball."

- Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull brands the actions of Smith and Bancroft "a shocking disappointment" and calls for Cricket Australia to take "decisive action soon", adding: "It seemed completely beyond belief that the Australian cricket team had been involved in cheating."

- Skipper Smith and vice-captain David Warner agree to stand down from their positions ahead of day four of the third Test, with Tim Paine taking over as captain.

- Former Australia fast bowler Jason Gillespie tells Sky Sports: "It's hard to see how Steve Smith can continue as captain of Australia. It's hard to see how David Warner continues as vice-captain. It's hard to think there isn't going to be a fall out and a big change in personnel."

- Smith is handed a one-match suspension and fined 100 per cent of his match fee for the third Test by the International Cricket Council. Bancroft is fined 75 per cent of his match fee and handed three demerit points.

- ICC chief executive David Richardson says in a statement: "The decision made by the leadership group of the Australian team to act in this way is clearly contrary to the spirit of the game, risks causing significant damage to the integrity of the match, the players and the sport itself and is therefore 'serious' in nature. The game needs to have a hard look at itself."

- Smith is booed by the crowd before and after his innings, making just seven as Australia are bowled out for 107 to lose by 322 runs.

- Former Australia bowler Gillespie says Smith should no longer be captain and calls the situation a "train wreck". Ex-England man Graeme Swann says the Australians are "friendless".

March 26

- Smith stands down as captain of the Rajasthan Royals so "the team can get ready for the start of the Indian Premier League without the ongoing distractions".

- Former England captain Vaughan says he was "pretty sure" Australia were tampering with the ball during this winter's 4-0 Ashes series win over England.

March 27

- Sutherland announces that coach Darren Lehmann will remain in his job having been unaware of the ball-tampering plot.

- Sutherland states that captain Smith, vice-captain Warner and Bancroft were the only players aware of the ball-tampering plot and all had been reported for breaching Cricket Australia's code of conduct, with decisions on sanctions for each player to be made in the next 24 hours.

- Sutherland says Tim Paine had been appointed captain of Australia's Test team, and says the three players involved in the ball-tampering case would leave South Africa on Wednesday.

March 28

- Cricket Australia confirmed that Smith and Warner had been banned from domestic and international cricket for 12 months and Bancroft given a nine-month ban.

- CA added that Smith and Bancroft would not be considered for leadership roles for at least 12 months following the completion of their bans, while Warner "will not be considered for team leadership positions in the future".

- The Indian Premier League confirmed that Smith and Warner would not be allowed to play in the 2018 staging of the tournament.

March 29

- A major sponsor of Cricket Australia - wealth management company Magellan - cancelled a three-year deal.

- Warner apologised for his role in the scandal and labelled the plan to tamper with a ball a "stain on the game".

- An emotional Smith apologised to all Australians and conceded that the scandal was "a serious failure of my leadership". He said: "I know I will regret this for the rest of my life. I am absolutely gutted. I'm sorry and I'm absolutely devastated."

- Bancroft admitted he felt "like I've let everyone down" after his involvement.

- The ICC launched a wide-ranging review into player behaviour after "one of the worst periods in recent memory" for the game.

- Cricket Australia announced that Lehmann would step down as Australia's head coach after the final Test against South Africa. Lehmann said he was "ultimately responsible for the culture of the team" and added: "Despite telling media yesterday that I'm not resigning, after reviewing Steve and Cameron's hurting it's only fair that I make this decision."

- Somerset announced Bancroft would not join the County Championship club this season following his role in the scandal.

- PA

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