2Cricket Australia logoJust plain thoughtless: Darren Lehman

So Dar­ren Leh­man, the Aus­sie coach, has called for the Aus­sie pub­lic to give Stu­art Broad a hard time when Eng­land go to play the return Ashes series this winter.  What do we make of that here at Adore­Crick­et?  Well, let’s start by quot­ing Leh­man accur­ately.

Leh­man called Broad’s decision not to walk “just plain cheat­ing”.  Leh­man also said “I hope the Aus­trali­an pub­lic give it to him right from the word go for the whole sum­mer”.  For those want­ing to hear the whole sorry inter­view, the BBC have a link.

Lets clear things up with a series of neat bul­let points…

  • The Aus­sies inven­ted “not walk­ing”, and they do it with con­sid­er­ably less shame than Broad did so this is a ser­i­ous case of the pot call­ing the kettle black.
  • Broad would have been out on review if the Aus­trali­an team had­n’t already wasted both their reviews, as they have done with reg­u­lar­ity through­out the series.
  • There was genu­ine con­fu­sion over the decision at the time — it was­n’t as “clear cut” as every­one who has seen the replay now seems to think.  Ashton Agar (the bowl­er), Ian Bell (the oth­er bats­man) and both umpire clearly wer­en’t sure so it was hardly “off the middle” of the bat.
  • Play­ers for both sides have walked more often since the Broad incid­ent includ­ing Broad him­self, so it would­n’t be unreas­on­able to say the incid­ent has had a pos­it­ive effect.
  • Dar­ren Leh­man is now a fig­ure in a pos­i­tion which car­ries sig­ni­fic­ant respons­ib­il­ity — this kind of inter­view isn’t appro­pri­ate for someone in that pos­i­tion.
  • The cur­rent media take on the story is an utter storm in a tea­cup — the Aus­sie fans always give Eng­land play­ers a hard time, I’m sure Broad will be giv­en a hard time regard­less of any silly inter­views giv­en 6 months in advance.

The only 2 things that we can really learn from this incid­ent are that the Aus­sies are genu­inely rattled by their inab­il­ity to make a decent game of it against Eng­land, and that Dar­ren Leh­man may not be suf­fi­ciently mature and respons­ible enough to hold his cur­rent pos­i­tion in the longer term.  Both of these are Aus­trali­an prob­lems at which Eng­land should just sit back and chuckle.

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gravatarJon Scaife

Good to see he’s been fined and accep­ted the fine, and that the ICC made it clear what the fine was for: “While not­ing the con­text and nature of the com­ments made, show­ing mutu­al respect for one’s fel­low pro­fes­sion­als — includ­ing for coaches, play­ers and match offi­cials — is a corner­stone of how we play the game.”

Also good to hear this from Greg Chap­pell
“I don’t like to be called a cheat and basic­ally he’s call­ing all people who don’t walk a cheat, which would include him­self.”
“ ‘Cheat’ is not a word you should use very light-heartedly, Even when you’ve got your tongue in your cheek it’s pretty hypo­crit­ic­al for an Aus­trali­an to com­plain about some­body not walk­ing.”

gravatarMatthew Woodward

Could­n’t agree more. Finally had chance to listen to the offend­ing pas­sage — so on the one hand he “does­n’t advoc­ate walk­ing” but calls Broad a “blatant cheat” what tripe. It’s a shame to hear Lehmann spout such non­sense — giv­en he is an adop­ted York­shire­man I would have expec­ted bet­ter from him.
Good to see he’s been fined 20% of his match fee.