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Lehmann exonerated as Smith, Warner & Bancroft sent home

by Wisden Staff 2 minute read

Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft are being sent home from South Africa and can expect “significant” sanctions for their part in the ball-tampering scandal but Australia head coach Darren Lehmann will keep his job.

Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland said the board’s investigation had found that only those three players – and no support staff – had prior knowledge of the illegal activity.

Full details on the punishment coming the conspirators’ way will be revealed tomorrow, but all have been sent home, with Matt Renshaw, Glenn Maxwell and Joe Burns their replacements. Tim Paine has officially been made Australia Test captain.

Lehmann, contrary to earlier reports, has escaped censure, despite Sutherland criticising the wider culture of the team, which Lehmann, who has been coach since 2013, is presumed to have helped create. That broader cultural issue will be dealt with by a separate review, Sutherland said.

“In view of the broader reputational and integrity issues involved, the sanctions that will be contemplated are significant,” Sutherland said.

“In addition to sanctions for individuals, Cricket Australia will initiate an independent review into the conduct and culture of our Australian men’s teams.

“We will have more to say about this review in the coming days, but it will be conducted by an expert panel who will report to the Cricket Australia Board.”

Fans and pundits were quick to cast doubt over the claim that only three players and no support staff knew about the tactic and over Sutherland’s view that it was an isolated incident.

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