28 Mar 2018, 09:36 IST
Sydney, Mar 28 (AFP) Coach Darren Lehmann seems to have survived the ball-tampering scandal that has rocked Australian cricket, even because the win-at-all-costs mentality he instilled within the group comes underneath recent scrutiny.
Lehmann was hailed as a saviour when he took over in 2013, however critics now accuse him of overseeing a poisonous tradition that has dented the repute of the famed Saggy Inexperienced cap.
After being appointed, Lehmann’s response when requested to checklist his prime three priorities was telling: “Most likely win, win, win, for a begin,” he informed reporters.
Cricket Australia (CA) had different concepts when it gave him the job.
“Self-discipline, consistency of behaviour and accountability for efficiency are all key components that want to enhance,” chief govt James Sutherland mentioned on the time.
“And we see that the top coach is in the end answerable for that.”
If a part of Lehmann’s transient was to enhance the Australian group’s behaviour, there’s little doubt he has failed.
– ‘Uncontrolled’ –
Gamers had been as soon as thought-about position fashions for kids, however the state of affairs has grow to be so unhealthy that CA is organising an unbiased overview into the group’s conduct and tradition.
Even Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has weighed in to criticise the apply of sledging — taunting opponents verbally with the goal of distracting them.
“It has gotten proper uncontrolled. It shouldn’t have any place,” Turnbull informed reporters this week, lamenting the demise of a sport as soon as thought to be the epitome of truthful play.
CA insists Lehmann had no prior information of the plot to physician the ball within the third Take a look at towards the Proteas.
However Australian Broadcasting Company senior cricket commentator Jim Maxwell mentioned the coach needed to settle for some blame for an “smug” group tradition the place some gamers felt dishonest was preferable to shedding honourably.
“He is performed an excellent job with the aspect however has a really slender view of the best way gamers ought to conduct themselves,” Maxwell mentioned.
“Groups can not get away with being within the face of the opposition in the best way they’ve lately.”
– Boof and the boys –
Lehmann grew to become nationwide coach in dramatic circumstances after Australia sacked the primary foreigner to carry the put up, Mickey Arthur, on the eve of the Ashes.
A revered former batsman who performed 27 Assessments and 117 one-dayers for Australia, he was seen as an antidote to the disciplinarian Arthur.
Whereas his South African predecessor requested gamers to supply written self assessments, Lehmann was an insider who had come by way of the Australian ranks.
A clue to his knockabout enchantment lies in his nickname “Boof”, brief for boofhead — Australian slang for an amiable prankster, one of many boys within the dressing room.
“It is essential to speak concerning the sport whether or not it is with a beer or a Food regimen Coke,” Lehmann mentioned after taking the job.
Australia misplaced Lehmann’s first Ashes collection in cost however later in 2013, after he had stamped his mark on the group, they crushed England 5-Zero in ruthless style.
Whereas the plaudits rained down, there was additionally discomfort amongst some Australian followers at their group’s conduct, notably Lehmann’s baiting of England paceman Stuart Broad.
“I hope the Australian public give it to him (Broad) proper from the phrase go for the entire summer time and I hope he cries and goes dwelling,” he mentioned in a taunting tone not heard earlier than from an Australian coach.
It was a darkish aspect Lehmann additionally displayed as a participant in 2003, when he yelled a racial insult within the dressing room after being dismissed in a one-day worldwide towards Sri Lanka.
Below Lehmann, unsavoury antics have grow to be frequent as gamers took the Steve Waugh-era objective of “psychological disintegration” and turbo-charged it with vitriol.
It has grow to be such part of the game-plan that earlier than the present tour of South Africa, the Australians requested host broadcasters to show down the stumps mic between balls so their jibes wouldn’t be recorded.
The Australians have been profitable underneath Lehmann, with a Take a look at file of 30 wins, 19 losses and eight attracts underneath his stewardship.
However as Cricket Australia has belatedly acknowledged with its tradition overview, profitable isn’t all the things and modifications are wanted within the dressing room, with or with out Lehmann
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