Darren Lehmann says he may ditch Australian cricket team’s ODI, T20 coach role

Darren Lehmann has missed several ODI and T20 cricket series in recent years, including the recently-conclued limited-overs tour of India. Health issues and a heavy workload are major reasons for it

cricket Updated: Oct 24, 2017 10:24 IST
Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse
Australian cricket team,Darren Lehmann,Justin Langer
Darren Lehmann, Australian cricket team coach, says a time might come when different formats will see different coaches.(Reuters)

Australia coach Darren Lehmann on Tuesday said an increasingly punishing cricket calendar may leave him with “no choice” but to hand over responsibility for the country’s One-day and Twenty20 sides, leaving him to focus solely on Tests.

Health issues and a heavy workload has seen the 47-year-old miss several one-day and Twenty20 series in recent years, including the just-ended limited-overs tour of India.

READ | Darren Lehmann coy over Australia’s playing XI for Chittagong Test vs Bangladesh

He returns to lead Australia in the upcoming Ashes series against England, but sees a time when there is one coach for Tests and another for ODIs and T20s.

“I think it will get to a stage where I’ll probably have to look at changing that set-up,” he told cricket.com.au.

“I know speaking to (former England coach) Andy Flower for example... he didn’t like it so much, but I think the way that the game is going, you’ve got no choice now.”

Not a new experiment

Under Flower, England experimented with having a separate limited-overs coach, but the roles have since been combined again under Trevor Bayliss.

Lehmann, who has coached Australia since 2013, said he would favour splitting duties between Tests and limited-overs, rather than having three coaches for the game’s different formats.

READ | Darren Lehmann to miss Australia’s India tour after mixed show vs Bangladesh

“You can’t split them three ways -- Tests, one-dayers and T20,” Lehmann said.

“Some of the time there’s no point another coach coming in, it’s just logistical nightmares, so I think you’d probably go white ball, red ball.”

Potential candidates

Justin Langer, Ricky Ponting, Jason Gillespie and David Saker are seen as potential candidates should Cricket Australia opt to divide the head coach roles.

READ | Ricky Ponting joins Justin Langer, Jason Gillespie in Australia coaching team

The path is already well trodden by players, with many specialising in either Tests or ODI/T20s, although plenty still excel in both.

Lehmann said he could envisage the day when there were entirely separate XIs for each format.

“Cricket is really getting specialised. You can see a time when down the track... I don’t know how many years but there’ll be really significant changes and the XIs will be separate for each format or in red-ball and white-ball cricket,” he said.

“And that’s happening now anyway, just because it’s the only way you can keep the players on the park.”

He acknowledged such a system could also problems, but insisted it was feasible.

READ | Australia captain Steve Smith worried ahead of Ashes. This is why

“You’ve got big tournaments which are really important to win and your best side has to be available,” he said.

“And there’s always different stories, (such as) how (can) the young guys get an opportunity at the next level if you don’t give them the opportunity when you get a chance?

“So there’s pros and cons everywhere -- it’s just how you balance it out.”

First Published: Oct 24, 2017 09:48 IST