Darren Lehmann has admitted he now believes he carried on for too long as head coach of Australia.
The 48-year-old resigned in 2018 following the Newlands ball-tampering scandal and was seen by some as being responsible for the culture that led to the team’s transgressions.
“I had a fantastic five years coaching Australia,” Lehmann told FIVEaa radio in 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.”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.”
Lehmann had suffered health problems that caused him to take a break during a tour of the West Indies in 2016, when current coach Langer stepped in temporarily.
“In hindsight, some felt Lehmann should have moved on after the 2015 World Cup,” writes Gideon Haigh, in his new book Crossing the Line, which examines the years leading up the the scandal. “By which time he was clearly feeling the pressure of indifferent health and prolonged separations from home.
“But with the retirements of Clarke, Haddin, Rogers, Harris, Johnson and Watson in short order, following the tragedy of Phillip Hughes, the coach’s continuity appeared welcome. His influence was then consolidated by the need for the team’s remaking under Smith and Warner, suddenly senior players despite their relative inexperience.”