Smith, the captain who was banned for 12 months for allowing the ball-tampering, broke down at a press conference as he apologized for his role in the scandal on his return to Australia.
Senior Australian cricket commentator Jim Maxwell said the coach had to accept some blame for an "arrogant" team culture where certain players felt cheating was preferable to losing honourably.
Although repeating he wasn't part of the ball-tampering plan, Lehmann said he was ultimately responsible for the "culture" of the team.
"I really feel for Steve Smith and all the players are hurting.
Despite telling the media yesterday that I am not resigning, after seeing Bancroft and Smith in their interviews hurting I have made this decision". "He sent a message to say "what the hell is going on", except he didn't use the word "hell", Sutherland told reporters at the Australia team hotel in Johannesburg. "But good people can make mistakes".
"Saying goodbye to the players was the toughest thing I've ever had to do", he said.
As Darren Lehmann begins to plot his next move in cricket, an intriguing chapter in his autobiography provides a spooky parallel on how he won the Australian coaching job five years ago to his emotional departure.
Lehmann became national coach after Australia sacked the first foreigner to hold the post, South African Mickey Arthur, on the eve of an Ashes series.
"The way we dealt with Phillip Hughes", Lehmann sobbed.
Sutherland said the probe appeared to show it had been an "isolated incident" had been a one-off, but he added: "If there are any credible allegations or suggestions to the contrary we have an obligation to investigate them".
"My family and I have copped a lot of abuse over the last week and it's taken its toll on them". I have been speaking with my family over the past few days and this is the right time to step away.
"Watching those two young men face the media - and I'm sure David (Warner) will be the same - it's been unbelievable, hopefully we can get back to the game of cricket, it's a game to be loved, and enjoyed".
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