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‘It’s time we move forward’ – Darren Lehmann named Brisbane Heat coach

by Wisden Staff 2 minute read

Darren Lehmann has been appointed the head coach of Brisbane Heat, for his first coaching role since stepping down from the top job with Australia.

Lehmann has been signed on a two-year contract, returning to the Big Bash League team for a second stint, having already coached them to a title win in 2012-13. He replaces Daniel Vettori, who decided not to renew his contract after the last season.

The former Australia all-rounder, had walked away from the “best job in the world” with the national side after the ball-tampering scandal during the Newlands Test on Australia’s tour of South Africa last year. He said the time had come for him to move on from the episode and work with a “young squad” of “quality players” and get them “playing the right way” at Heat.

An emotional Lehmann stepped down as Australia coach after the Newlands ball-tampering scandal

The 49-year-old is now ready to enjoy the game again. “You go through chapters as a coach, whether it’s success or failure and I’ve had both,” he was quoted as saying by Fox Sports.

“It’s a learning curve for everyone and I’ve learnt plenty. It was about getting back to waking up and enjoying going to the game … for a while there it was very hard to watch.”

Australia have had a torrid time since Lehmann’s departure as in the absence of the banned Steve Smith and David Warner, they failed to win a single limited-overs international series since January 2018 before they beat India in a two-match T20I series last month.

Lehmann, though, insisted there is no possibility of a comeback for him with the international side – and not just with Australia.

Smith and Warner are nearing the end of their CA-imposed 12-month bans

Emphatically stating that he will not coach an international side again, he said, “I’m not travelling 300 days away again a year and I don’t think my wife would let me either.”

Following Lehmann’s departure, extensive Cricket Australia-sanctioned reviews revealed the “toxic” culture in the national side under Lehmann’s watch. The former coach admitted he was hurt by the findings but saw it as a backlash to the ball-tampering episode.

“Yep (it did hurt) … because against England when it was 4-0 (in a home Ashes serious earlier that year) there was no attack on culture then,” he said.

“We understand that that’s what happens (the backlash) when something like that (ball-tampering) happens. I don’t want to go too much into it to be honest; it’s time we move forward, it’s happened, can’t change it.”

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