Former Austalia coach Darren Lehmann opened up on the ball tampering scandal that rocked Cricket Australia in March 2018. The former Australia allrounder, who first signed in the position from mid-2013, and was handed two extensions by the team performance manager Pat Howard, resigned from the position in the aftermath of the episode. Speaking to FIVEaa radio in an interview, the 48-year-old said that the incident affected him on a personal level.
“I was in a bad place like everyone for a little bit of time. It’s taken me the last three months, I’m starting to feel a bit more normal and enjoying watching the cricket again. Your kids, and when your wife’s copping it you say enough’s enough. That’s when it gets too personal and you take a step back,” he said.
Speaking on the banned cricketers Steve Smith, David Warner, and Cameron Bancroft, who were found complicit of tampering with the ball during the 2nd Test against South Africa in Newlands, Lehmann said they will return to play cricket for Australia. “They’re not too bad, they have good days and bad days like everyone. Obviously, that was a pretty big mistake by everyone, but the game moves forward, and they’re going ok, they’re good young men, and they’ll come back playing really good cricket for Australia,” the former Australian international said.
Lehmann further added that he may have extended his welcome as the Australia coach. “I look back now and I had a fantastic five years coaching Australia. But I look back now and go ‘maybe it was a bit too long’ to be fair. I speak to Justin Langer quite regularly just making sure he gets some time off where he can because you’re on the road and it’s 300 days of high pressure trying to win every game. That takes its toll,” he said.
“It’s 24-7, you don’t sleep. You’re thinking about either the day, the coming day, six months ahead, who you’ve got coming up, what players are coming back from injuries, you’re talking to everyone. It’s literally the most demanding job I’ve ever had, but it’s great fun. Even right to the end, I loved it,” he added.