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Former England pace bowler Bob Willis is skeptical of the fact that Australia head coach Darren Lehmann didn’t know anything about the ball tampering scandal.
Lehmann kept hold of his job, even though there were rumours that he would resign.
As for Australia captain Steve Smith, vice-captain David Warner and opening batsman Cameron Bancroft, they will be sent home from South Africa on Wednesday for their roles in the scandal.
“I find that almost unbelievable and I think Lehmann is very lucky to survive,” Willis was quoted as saying by Sky Sports. “I find it remarkable that he didn’t know anything about this and he has been exonerated. Surely the head coach has to be part of the leadership group of an international cricket team?
“I would have thought his [Lehamnn’s] credibility was shot, the standards of behaviour have been very poor with Darren in charge of this Australia side and he is lucky to get off scot free.
“Clearly the leadership group which Steve Smith referred in his press conference only included Warner, Smith and poor Bancroft – the lame duck if you like – who was sent out to do the dirty work.”
Willis also feels that Cricket Australia need to hand down harsh punishments in order to deter such an incident from happening again.
“Clearly there are going to be some pretty severe sanctions for the three guys; they are being exiled, sent home straight away,” he said. “One wouldn’t envy the three of them getting off the plane back in Australia; there will be a media scrum.
“James Sutherland was clearly holding back his anger and frustration at the behaviour of the two guys in charge of the Australia team, Smith and Warner.
“They have been a bad-tempered bunch for 18 months to two years. It is not what we need in cricket. There has been personal sledging about people’s private lives, families and wives and I think Sutherland will come down very hard on these two [Smith and Warner] players.
“I think it would be sufficient for them to be stripped of the captaincy and vice-captaincy. They are very important players to Australia; other people have been found guilty of ball tampering and not had particularly severe fines or suspensions.
“I hope they will consider the future of Australian cricket and these cricketers when they hand out these penalties. Cricket usually sets the example about behaviour and hopefully after this incident it can go back to doing that.”