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Lehmann likely to step down as coach

Aussie coach Darren Lehmann to step down as coach before the fourth Test against South Africa begins on Friday, according to a report in Britain’s Daily Telegraph, as the fall-out from the ball-tampering scandal continued on Tuesday.

Australia was plunged into turmoil after captain Steve Smith and Cameron Bancroft admitted on Saturday that senior players conspired with the opening batsman to tamper with the ball during the third Test against South Africa in Cape Town.

Smith has been fined and suspended from the fourth Test by the International Cricket Council (ICC) and he and vice captain David Warner have been stood down from their positions.

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The national governing body expects to announce the results of the investigation in Johannesburg late on Tuesday and although Smith said the coaching staff had been unaware of the conspiracy, Lehmann still had questions to answer.

The former Test batsman clearly played a part in trying to cover up the cheating by getting word to Bancroft that his use of some tape to try and scuff up one side of the ball had been spotted by the television cameras.

The Daily Telegraph cited sources as saying Lehmann, who has made no public comment since the incident, planned to pre-empt the investigation by stepping down more than a year ahead of his planned exit after the 2019 Ashes series.

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