The ball-tampering saga has claimed another victim as Australian coach Darren Lehmann has decided to call it quits as coach after the last Test against South Africa in the wake of the shocking controversy. At a teary-eyed press conference Lehmann said, “After viewing Steve and Cameron’s hurting, it’s only fair that I make this decision.”
— cricket.com.au (@CricketAus) March 29, 2018
Although Lehmann might not have been directly involved in the ‘cheat’ plan, he apparently played his part in getting in a word to Cameron Bancroft on the field that his act had been caught on the big screen. Lehmann though is no stranger to controversies. Before an Ashes, he said he hoped England bowler Stuart Broad went home ‘crying’. Cricket Nostalgia takes a look at some interesting facts about Darren Lehmann.
- Lehmann is famous as the man involved in the finishing acts of the 1999 and 2003 World Cups. In the 1999 final, he hit the winning runs against Pakistan, and he took the final catch in the 2003 final against India.
- Lehmann is the brother-in-law of Craig White, the former England all-rounder who played 30 Tests and 51 ODIs.
- Lehmann was nicknamed Boof because he has a big head, and the nickname has stayed with him.
- Lehmann made his Test debut in the third Test against India in March 1998 in Bangalore, coming in for injured Steve Waugh. Lehmann scored 52 on debut, as also dismissed Indian captain Mohammad Azharuddin with the ball.
- Although constantly in and out of the side, Lehmann had a reasonable ODI career, with over 3,000 runs in 117 matches at an average of 38.96, with four hundreds. He also claimed 52 wickets with his innocuous left-arm spin, with a best of 4 for 7.
- In early 2003, Lehmann found himself in trouble after he allegedly made racial comments at Sri Lankans after being run out in the match.
- A year later, in 2004, Lehmann publicly offered to be dropped after a poor run of scores. However, the selectors looking at his experience and seniority dropped the much inexperienced Simon Katich.
- In the 2004-05 series against Pakistan at home, he famously struggled against the pace of Shoaib Akhtar, moving across the stumps and getting knocked over more than once. That all but spelt the end of his career as a player.
- Lehmann coached the Deccan Chargers in 2009 and, under the inspired captaincy of fellow Aussie Adam Gilchrist, guided the team to the IPL title. He later coached Kings XI Punjab as well.
- In June 2013, Lehmann replaced Mickey Arthur as the coach of Australia. They lost the Ashes 3-0 that year, but was at helm as his side thrashed England 5-0 victory in the 2013–14 series.