Darren Lehmann, coach of the scandal-tainted Australia cricket team, said Thursday he would quit after the fourth and final Test of a series in South Africa.
“This will be my last Test as head coach of the Australian cricket team,” Lehmann told a press conference on the eve of the match.
“Saying goodbye to the players was the toughest thing I have ever had to do.”
Lehmann, who was not was due to leave the job until after the 2019 Ashes series in England, is quitting despite being cleared of any role in the ball-tampering scandal that has rocked the sport.
His decision follows 12-month bans given to captain Steve Smith and vice-captain David Warner for the roles they played in a plot to cheat in Cape Town during the third Test last Saturday.
Opening batsman Cameron Bancroft was banned for nine months for his part in the ball-tampering plan.
Earlier Darren Lehmann has called for forgiveness for the “grave mistake” made by the trio of test players banned for their role in the ball-tampering scandal that has rocked the sport.
“As a coach you feel for them as people,” added Lehmann. “They are hurting and I feel for them and their families.
“I worry about the three guys immensely. We love all of our players and they are going through a really tough time.