Walkie-talkie call left Lehmann in clear in tampering affair

Lehmann‚ who was caught on camera speaking to substitute fielder Peter Handscomb on a walkie-talkie when Cameron Bancroft was using sandpaper on the ball before tea on day three‚ was found to have had nothing to do with the saga.

The Australian also reports that the "banned players are ready to fight".

Lehmann, who has been cleared of any involvement in the plot which led to Bancroft using sandpaper to scratch the surface of the ball before hiding the evidence down his pants, told reporters that the three players are "not bad people".

Cricket Australia has handed skipper Smith and vice-captain Warner 12-month suspensions from worldwide and domestic cricket following an investigation.

We are all struggling to believe what he said, that it was just the three players who knew what was happening, that the coach had to know.

"It was a grave mistake by three young men and we have to try and win the public back now and play the type of cricket that they expect us to play".

Australia coach Darren Lehman is out of charge as he demonstrated that he was unaware of the cheating.

Lehmann was cleared of any knowledge of the ball-tampering plan, which was masterminded by Warner and carried out by Cameron Bancroft, according to Cricket Australia's inquiry.

The CA Board, comprising Chairman David Peever, Earl Eddings, Bob Every, John Harnden, Tony Harrison, Jacquie Hey and Michelle Tredenick, as well as former Test players Mark Taylor and Michael Kasporwicz, convened on Wednesday to determine the sanctions imposed on the guilty trio. "It is hoped that following a period of suspension, the players will be able to return to playing the game they love and eventually rebuild their careers". They are hurting and I feel for them and their families. The Australian media have come down hard on the players involved in the incident. Our values. Our team culture. Seriously? World cricket clearly deserves better.

Australian cricket great Shane Warne said he was "shocked" by the incident but questioned the severity of the punishment. We have chose to bar them from this season. One-time England captain Kevin Pietersen expressed his incredulity at the verdict, while his former teammate Matt Prior were just as sarcastic. "We did not take any decision in haste, it was a well thought out decision", he added.

I am still trying to wrestle with what I think the punishment should be. Bancroft who I don't know was led astray but deserved punishing but again too harshly IMO ...

Steve Smith is a fine batsman whose record is close to Virat Kohli.

"The problem with cricket is this perception that cricket is a gentleman's game".

But he will now try, alongside the new captain Tim Paine, to depart from the previously snarling and disliked visage favoured by Lehmann ever since he took over as coach in 2013.

However, money and sponsorship aside, it will indeed be a pity not to see the two of the top 5 Test batsmen in action for at least a year.

Perception, more than ground reality, is essential to winning back the trust the Australians have lost.

"I understand and share the anger and disappointment of Australian fans", Sutherland said.

"We need to change how we play and the boundaries within which we play", he said.

"I want to clarify that specific point".

Smith and Warner have also now been banned from the 2018 Indian Premier League - having already stepped down as captains of their respective teams. And never cheat. Cheating is un-Australian.

Sponsors have voiced "deep concern" over reputational damage with electronics giant LG dropping Warner as brand ambassador on Wednesday, amid fears other could follow suit.

"LG's current sponsorship of David Warner is in the final weeks and in light of recent events, we have decided not to renew our partnership", it said in a statement.

"Firstly, I'd also like to apologise to the Australian public and the cricket family", Lehmann said.

  • Angelo Rivera