Former Australian middle order batsman Darren Lehmann, who was appointed Aussie head coach in 2013, has been retained for the same post till 2019.
Lehmann took over from Mickey Arthur three years back just before 2013 Ashes. Australia lost the subsequent Ashes series 3-0. The turnaround happened when Aussies defeated England 5-0 in the Ashes on home soil. ‘Boof’ masterminded Australia’s victory over proteas in rainbow nation and won the cricket world cup on home soil in 2015.
Australian players have been told to express themselves and play their natural games. The clarity in thought and to play attacking cricket has been the one of the main factors for baggy greens success as a group.
Executive General Manager Pat Howard said the extension of Lehmann’s contract ensures stability in the build up to significant events for Australia Cricket.
“2019 is such a big year for Australian cricket and we wanted certainty and stability for the playing group with both the coach and assistant coach contracted as we build towards the Ashes series and the 2019 World Cup.
“Darren has had great success in the role and he and the National Selection Panel deserve a huge amount of credit for taking a relatively young side to number one in the world in two of the three formats.
“What often goes unseen is how big of a supporter Darren has been of the wider cricket system in Australia and that is crucial to the long term sustainability of Australian cricket.
“The commitment he shows to the role goes far broader that of the Australian men’s team and extends into the global support of the game through his work on the ICC Cricket Committee,” said Howard.
Lehmann said that he is grateful and looking forward to the upcoming challenges and will leave no stone unturned for Australia’s success.
“I am incredibly grateful for the support and faith the Cricket Australia Board and the players have put in me. I absolutely love doing this job and as far as I am concerned it is the best job in the world.
“I certainly would not be able to do this role without the love and support of my wife Andrea and my kids. They allow me to be away from home for extended periods of time and have supported me every step of the way and I am extremely grateful for that.
“There is still a lot I would like to achieve in the time I have left and we have a lot of hard work ahead of us especially with an upcoming Test series in India and a home Ashes series.
The tour of India in early 2017 will be an acid test for Lehmann. Australia last won a Test in India in 2004. They won the Nagpur Test and since then have drawn two Tests and lost nine Tests against the men in blue in India. Australia have struggled against Pakistan in UAE and lost the first Test against Sri Lanka against all odds. Australia has not won Ashes series in England since 2001.
“I don’t just see my job as winning games of cricket. It’s about continuing to grow the game from the grassroots up in Australia, and helping to grow the game worldwide.
“We want to see as many fans come and watch us as possible, and we need to ensure we continue to play that entertaining brand of cricket so that ultimately we have more people wanting to watch and play this great game,” said Lehmann.
CA has done a good job by retaining the services of likable and at the same time strict, when it comes to work ethic of the National team. Lehmann would like to leave a legacy of a champion team when his contract expires.