Johannesburg: Australia cricket team head coach Darren Lehmann on Thursday announced his resignation, saying the fourth Test against hosts South Africa starting on Friday will be his last match in charge of the team.
The 48-year-old was on Wednesday cleared of any wrongdoing in the ball-tampering scandal.
“Saying goodbye to the players was the toughest thing I’ve ever had to do,” Lehmann, who won two ICC World Cups in 1999 and 2003 as a player, was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au.
Australia’s team culture has come under fire in the wake of the scandal that sent shock waves through the cricketing world, from the way the team behaves on the field to the way they are perceived by the public.
Lehmann was installed as head coach in June 2013, just weeks out from the Ashes series in England after CA sacked South African Mickey Arthur, who oversaw the ‘homeworkgate’ affair in India, which led to four players being suspended.
He coached Australia to three Ashes series wins over traditional rivals England. Under Lehmann, Australia also won their fifth World Cup title in 2015 at home.
Asked his proudest achievement as the head coach, Lehmann, whose contract was supposed to run till the end of 2019, said: “I would say the way we dealt with Philip Hughes’s passing.”
The left-handed batsman died on November 27 died aged 25 after a delivery struck him on the back of his head during a domestic game. “We’re only playing a game.”