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Hope people will give them a second chance: Australia coach Darren Lehmann's emotional appeal

Steve Smith and David Warner were banned for 12 months after an investigation identified Warner as the instigator of the ball tampering plan that unravelled in South Africa.

Reported by: AP , New Delhi [ Updated: March 29, 2018 12:01 IST ]
Image Source : PTI

Australia coach Darren Lehmann hoped people would give them a second chance.

Australia's cricket coach Darren Lehmann has apologised for the cricket cheating scandal, saying his team had let down many people but that he also hoped people would give them a second chance.

"The players involved have been handed down very serious sanctions and they know they must face the consequences. They've made a grave mistake but they are not bad people," he told reporters at a news conference in Johannesburg on Wednesday.

"These are young men and I hope people will give them a second chance. Their health and well-being is extremely important to us," said Lehmann.

Captain Steve Smith and vice-captain David Warner were banned for 12 months on Wednesday after an investigation identified Warner as the instigator of the ball tampering plan that unravelled in South Africa.

Cricket Australia said Warner "instructed" young batsman Cameron Bancroft to carry out the tampering on the field with a piece of sandpaper, even showed Bancroft how to do it, then misled match officials and tried to cover up his role in the cheating.

Smith, the top test batsman in the world and the star of Australian cricket, knew about the plan.

But the captain failed "to take steps to seek to prevent the development and implementation of that plan," Cricket Australia said as it released the findings of the investigation by its head of integrity that dragged in all the players, coaches and backroom staff for questioning.

Smith and Warner were banned from playing for Australia, or any high-level cricket in Australia, for a year.

Bancroft, maybe because he's an impressionable newcomer in the team, received a nine-month ban.

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Group A

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