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Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland has made it clear that he won’t be stepping down in the wake of the ball tampering scandal.
Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft were all indicted in the incident. As a result, Smith and Warner were banned for 12 months by Cricket Australia, while Bancroft was suspended for nine months.
In addition to this, Smith will not be allowed to captain Australia for two years, while Warner won’t be considered for leadership roles in the future.
While head coach Darren Lehmann also announced that he would be stepping down from his position after the fourth Test against South Africa in Johannesburg, Sutherland reiterated that he won’t be going down that route.
“I’m absolutely committed to my job. My employment and tenure is a matter for Cricket Australia but I’m not resigning,” Sutherland was quoted as saying by Sky Sports. “What’s happened over last few days has only strengthened my resolve to ensure Australian cricket and the Australian cricket team gets back on track and gets back in a place where it has not only the full respect but the pride of the Australian community.”
Given that Lehmann decided to resign after initially saying that he wouldn’t, Sutherland paid tribute to the 48-year-old, who helped Australia win the 2015 World Cup.
“I’ve seen at first hand the pride in which he has gone about his work, the love he has for the job and his incredible work ethic, and one of the things that strikes me about Darren and his character as a coach is the way he genuinely cares for and loves his players,” Sutherland said. “I have huge regard and respect for the way he’s gone about his job.
“It’s been clearly a difficult week for him, the players and for everyone involved in the Australian cricket team and Australian cricket more broadly.”
As for Smith, Warner and Bancroft, Sutherland confirmed that Cricket Australia will offer the trio all the support they need.
“Our hearts are out to him and the other two players,” he said. “Right now, we want to support them to the best of their abilities.
“They have made mistakes that have been major significant consequences, life-changing mistakes.
“At the same time we should support them and allow them to rehabilitate and get back to playing the game they love.”