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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