Aussie cricket coach Lehmann resigning after all

A couple of days ago there were reports that Australian cricket coach Darren Lehmann would resign in the wake of the ball tampering scandal while in South Africa.

Yesterday, after the scandal escalated with confirmation that sand paper rather than sticky tape was used, and the tamperer, the captain and the vice captain were all given lengthy bans, Lehmann was cleared of being involved and said he would stay as coach.

SMH: ‘I need to change’: Tearful Lehmann looks to New Zealand as model

Tears welling in his eyes, head cricket coach Darren Lehmann has pledged that the Australian team will change and so will he.

The Australian head coach has overseen a team with a hard and uncomprising edge that has been pilloried around the cricket world and at home, even before their crash last Saturday to an all-time low.

On Wednesday, there was softness as Lehmann stressed that the “human side” of the ball-tampering controversy needed to be understood, pleading for the culprits to be given a second chance.

The crying shame of it all is that it has taken such a terrible episode, tarnishing careers and changing lives, for Lehmann and what is left of the side to look themselves in the mirror.

The coach has endorsed an attitude of stretching the limits of what is considered acceptable, content to win ugly if that is what it takes. Headbutting “the line”, as they liked to say. It was an approach that was the poisonous foundation for what took place at Newlands.

That is all over. Winning, suddenly, isn’t all that matters. They are putting a line through the line.

“I need to change,” Lehmann said.

“We need to change how we play and within the boundaries we play. Obviously previously we’ve butted heads on the line but that’s not the way to go about us playing cricket moving forward.

“We have to try and win the public back now and play the type of cricket that they expect us to play. We have to look at how we go about that, as a coach and support staff and playing group, and make the game better for everyone to play and enjoy watching us play.”

But a day later Lehmann has announced he will stand down after the fourth and last test against South Africa (that starts tonight).

SMH:  Darren Lehmann quits as coach of the Australian cricket team

An emotional Lehmann announced on Thursday that the fourth Test against South Africa would be his last in charge.

He said he had made the decision to resign after watching Steve Smith’s gut-wrenching press conference in Sydney as well as Cameron Bancroft fronting the media in Perth.

“The feeling is that Australian cricket needs to move forward and this is the right thing to do,” Lehmann said.

“My family and I have copped a lot of abuse over the last week and it’s taken its toll. Life on the road means a long time away from our loved ones and after speaking with them at length over the last few days, this is the right time to step away.

“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 viewing Steve and Cameron’s hurting, it’s only fair that I make this decision.

“This will allow Cricket Australia to undertake a full review into the culture of the team to begin to implement changes to regain the trust of the Australian public. This is the right thing for cricket.”

I think this was inevitable. Lehmann is ultimately responsible for the ugly win by any means culture that had re-established itself under his guidance.

It will be a tough test for the Baggy Greens, without their captain and vice captain, without both their opening batsmen, without their two best batsmen. And with a coach rocked by the scandal and how it played out this week, and a team in upheaval.

There were awful scenes from the airport as Steve Smith left South Africa. He has disgraced himself but didn’t deserve to be treated so poorly.

It will be interesting to see the attitude the South African team takes on to the pitch, and how the crowd will treat the Australians in the outfield. They may wish they were in the outback.

14 Comments

  1. Trevors_elbow

     /  March 30, 2018

    Live by the sword…. die by the sword.

  2. Ray

     /  March 30, 2018

    Let’s hope Aussie cricket can change but they said something similar after Hughes was killed by a short pitched ball in 2014, neckmit “I am going to break your arm”
    The sledging would be not be acceptable in children, time for the stump microphones allow everybody to hear this crap and time for a real change all round.

  3. Sack the lot of them and start Aussie cricket up again from the grassroots.
    The bad sportsman rot is too deeply ingrained for anything else

  4. Gezza

     /  March 30, 2018

    And for God’s sake tell them to stop blubbering.

    • Gezza

       /  March 30, 2018

      Did any regular poster here seriously not expect this to happen? Anyone think he shouldn’t step fown, out of interest?

  5. Alan Wilkinson

     /  March 30, 2018

    Time for Mitre 10 to add a handkerchief as well as a piece of sandpaper to its cricket sets.

    • Ray

       /  March 30, 2018

      And we a winner, category best Cricket Tweet

  6. Evidently Aussie cricketers don’t have the balls to come clean over rough patches

  7. lurcher1948

     /  March 30, 2018
    • Gezza

       /  March 30, 2018

      Aljaz tv’s sports presenter said Smith and Warner are down 2 million on future earnings before they get out of bed, with their sponsor pullouts & IPL futures up the wahzoo.