Cricket Australia CEO James Sutherland has revealed what Australia coach Darren Lehmann claims to have said over the radio just after his team’s ball-tampering efforts had been exposed.
Cameron Bancroft was caught by host broadcaster SuperSport using a small piece of sandpaper to alter the state of the ball, with the visuals appearing on the big screen at Newlands.
Lehmann was then spotted relaying a message via walkie-talkie to Australia 12th-man Peter Handscomb, who soon ran on to the field to talk to Bancroft.
Bancroft then tried to hide the sandpaper in the front of his trousers, which was also caught by the cameras.
There has been speculation that Lehmann told Bancroft, via Handscomb, to get rid of the evidence, but Sutherland says CA’s head of integrity Iain Roy’s investigation discovered that was not the case.
‘In Darren’s defence, I do want to just clarify that specific matter. He sent a message to say, “What in hell is going on?” – he didn’t use “hell”, he used another word. That was, through Iain’s [Roy, Australia’s Head of Integrity] investigation, found to be the fact.
‘And I wanted to make that point very clearly that Darren made those comments and Iain was certainly satisfied that Darren wasn’t involved and didn’t know anything of the plan.’
Sutherland reaffirmed that Lehmann would continue to coach the team. His contract expires at the end of the 2019 Ashes series in England.