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Watch: Tears from former Australia captain Steve Smith and coach as Darren Lehmann resigns

Darren Lehmann will leave his post as Australia's head coach after the fourth Test against South Africa, which begins on Friday.

Cricket Australia confirmed his departure, which had appeared unlikely when it was announced earlier in the week that he would remain in his post until the end of his contract.

That was due to run until the end of the 2019 Ashes series in England, but now Lehmann has joined the casualties of Australia's Cape Town debacle.

Lehmann had been cleared by a Cricket Australia investigation into the ball-tampering, with Sutherland saying on Tuesday the coach had no prior knowledge of the plot.

At the time, Sutherland said it was "inaccurate" to say Lehmann had resigned, but now he has decided to quit.

"It's the right time to step away," Lehmann said, speaking at a press conference. "I'm ultimately responsible for the culture of the team and I've been thinking about my position for a while.

"Despite telling media yesterday that I'm not resigning, after reviewing Steve and Cameron's hurting it's only fair that I make this decision.

"This will allow Cricket Australia to complete a full review into the culture of the team and allow them to implement changes to regain the trust of the Australian public. This is the right thing for Australian cricket.

"It's been emotional. Hopefully the game gets back to the game of cricket, which is a game to be loved and enjoyed. I've had a great time. I'm looking forward to some time off. What's the next step for me? I'd love to stay involved in the game because I love it so much."

Former captain Steve Smith earlier broke down as he apologised for his part in the scandal, which resulted in him being banned from international cricket for a year.

"It was a failure of my leadership," said the 28-year-old.

"If it can be a lesson to others, then I hope I can be a force for change. I am deeply sorry, I love the game of cricket, I love kids wanting to play the great game of cricket that I love.

"Any time you think about making a questionable decision, think about who you're affecting. You're affecting your parents. To see the way my old man has been, and my mum, it hurts."

Smith had been part of a three-man plan to cheat during the third Test against South Africa last weekend, with vice-captain David Warner being blamed by Cricket Australia for orchestrating the incident that lead to young batsman Cameron Bancroft rubbing sandpaper on the ball in an illegal attempt to artificially produce reverse swing.

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