Cricket Australia (CA) CEO James Sutherland Tuesday, March 27, announced head coach Darren Lehmann had no "prior knowledge" of the ball-tampering incident and that the 48-year-old will continue as the coach under his current contract, which ends in 2019.

The cricket board's decision to sack former captain Steve Smith, vice-captain David Warner and opener Cameron Bancroft from the team but retain Lehmann has baffled quite a few from the cricket fraternity, including former Australia captain Michael Clarke.

Smith, Warner and Bancroft face 'significant sanctions'

As promised, CA, which has been under pressure following the maligned image of Australian cricket over the ball-tampering scandal, came out with the "preliminary findings" of the probe within days of the infamous incident where Smith and his men were caught red-handed.

Sutherland, while addressing a press conference in Johannesburg Tuesday, said only three members of the team — Smith, Warner, and Bancroft had prior knowledge about the ball-tampering incident during the third day of the recently-concluded third Test against South Africa in Cape Town.

The CA boss also refuted media reports that claimed Lehmann would step down from the role, calling them "inaccurate." The trio, which has been found guilty, will miss the upcoming Johannesburg Test and are set to face "significant sanctions".

Darren Lehmann
File photo of Australia national cricket team coach Darren Lehmann.Jason McCawley/Getty Images

Notably, Smith had also denied the involvement of the coach when he spoke to the press in Cape Town Saturday. However, the 27-year-old, who is facing a lengthy ban from CA, had admitted that the "leadership group" of the Australian team had devised a plan to scuff the red-cherry during lunch of Day 3.

Lehmann was also found suspiciously reacting to camera vision of Bancroft using a yellow tape, which he admittedly used to alter the conditions of the ball. The World Cup-winning coach was even spotted using a wireless radio to pass on a message to substitute fielder Peter Handscomb, who later ran onto the field and had a conversation with the opening batsman.

Cricket fraternity baffled by CA's decision

"To many reputations on the line for the full story not to come out. Cape Town change room is a very small place!," Clarke wrote on Twitter Tuesday.

"The truth, The full story, Accountability and Leadership- until the public get this Australian cricket is in deep shit!" he added.

Meanwhile, former England cricketers Michael Vaughn and Kevin Pietersen also took to social media to take a dig at CA over its findings.

"Only 3 people knew ........ #MyArse," Vaughn wrote.

"Cam Bancroft must be captaincy material ... In the Leadership group in only his 7th Test ... !!!" he added.

IBTimes India has compiled a list of reactions from cricketer fraternity to CA's decision of persisting with Lehmann.