Australian Cricket Scandal: Players Issue Emotional Apology, Coach Resigns

By Cathy Zhang

In an whirlwind night for Australian cricket, two players apologised for their role in the ball tampering scandal, and the coach of the Australian cricket team announced his shock resignation.

Darren Lehmann, team coach, said his decision to step down was “the right thing to do” after seeing Steve Smith, former captain, and teammate, Cameron Bancroft, make emotional apologies to the Australian public earlier on March 29.

“After viewing Steve and Cameron’s hurting it’s only fair that I make this decision,” said Lehmann, who fought back tears during the statement.

Scroll down for Steve Smith’s apology

Lehmann, who had been cleared for any involvement in the ball tampering plot, had earlier told media he would not resign.

Ex-captain Steve Smith received a 12 month suspension, 100 hours of community work within Australian cricket, and a two year ban from being captain, for his complicity in allowing Cameron Bancroft to ball tamper under vice-captain David Warner’s orders.

Bancroft was suspended for nine months, and Warner was banned for one year.

“I’m extremely disappointed and regret my actions, I’m sorry to those people who have looked up to me in the cricket world and especially the kids,” Bancroft said in an emotional press conference on Thursday.

Many sporting, media, and political personalities took to twitter to express their support for Smith and Warner after their heartfelt apologies.

Ex-Australian cricket captain Michael Clarke wrote that Smith’s speech was “devastating” to watch.

Bill Shorten, opposition leader, tweeted, “No one’s perfect. A terrible lapse in judgement but good people make mistakes. Credit to Steve Smith for fronting up. Now let’s give him some time and space.”

Former Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce, who was the centre of his own scandal earlier this year, weighed in, saying, “Enough is enough. Smith, Warner & Bancroft did wrong, they have paid for it. What are you trying to do? They aren’t criminals”

 

On Thursday, Warner released a statement on Twitter advising fans they will hear from him in a few days.

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