Australian batsman Darren Lehmann has been severely reprimanded by match referee Clive Lloyd after a racial outburst during Australia's triangular series match against Sri Lanka.

Lehmann's outburst followed his return to the dressing room after being run out by Russel Arnold having helped compile a match-winning 72-run stand with man of the match Michael Bevan.

Members of the Sri Lankan team and management heard the outburst clearly in their dressing room and immediately lodged an official complaint with Lloyd.

According to Sri Lanka team sources, Lehmann immediately sent a letter of apology to the Sri Lanka team.

Having received the letter the Sri Lanka team management appealed to Lloyd for leniency, saving Lehmann from a certain match ban.

Instead, Lloyd severely reprimanded Lehmann and warned the Australian team and management that he considered the offense to be extremely serious.

"Such comments are unacceptable and will not be tolerated by us," said the team source. "However, in view of the fact that he apologised, we appealed for leniency."

Australian Cricket Board chief executive James Sutherland said: "I have expressed to Darren the ACB's disappointment in the incident and organised immediate counselling for him.

"It is clear that he has acted in an undesirable manner and steps will be taken to see that behaviour such as this is not repeated."