Darren Lehmann on Thursday announced that he will resign as the Australian men’s cricket team’s head coach after the fourth Test against South Africa.

Lehmann’s announcement came hours after former Australia captain Steve Smith delivered an emotional press conference in which he took full responsibility for the team’s involvement in a ball-tampering scandal during the third Test.

Smith and his vice-captain David Warner were banned by Cricket Australia for one year, while opener Cameron Bancroft was exiled for nine months. The Australian board said that the three were the only people in the squad that knew of the plan to tamper with the ball.

Lehmann, who was not was due to leave the job until after the 2019 Ashes series in England, is quitting despite being cleared of any role in the ball-tampering scandal that has rocked the sport. He had earlier made it clear that he will not resign from his post in the wake of the controversy but did admit that a shift in team’s playing culture is the need of the hour.

However, the 48-year-old seems to have had a change of heart. In a press conference in Johannesburg, Lehmann said that the decision to step down was entirely his.

“This will be my last Test as head coach of the Australian cricket team,” Lehmann said. “Saying goodbye to the players was the toughest thing I have ever had to do.”

He added, “Speaking to my family, they’ve had enough of traveling 300 days. As many who sit in this room will know, life on the road means a lot of time away from loved ones and after speaking to my family, it is the right time to step away.”

Lehmann also asked people to forgive the three Australian players for what they did. “It’s been happening for a few days and you think you can keep going but the amount of abuse just takes its toll. They made a mistake,” he was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo.

With inputs from AFP