Australia’s bullish coach Darren Lehmann admits that the macho, aggressive Australian culture must change.
Their style of play and incessant use of sledging has come under fire recently, exacerbated by several off-field incidents, and Lehmann says the manner in which New Zealand play the game could be the blueprint the Australians use to rebuild their image and playing style.
‘We need to change how we play and within the boundaries we play,’ Lehmann said. ‘Previously, we’ve butted heads on the line but that’s not the way to go about us playing cricket moving forward. The thing for me would be if we take a leaf out of someone like New Zealand’s book, the way they play and respect the opposition.
‘We do respect the opposition but we push the boundaries on the ground.
‘So, we’ve got to make sure we’re respecting the game, its traditions, and understanding how the game holds itself around the world.’
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Lehmann repeated that neither he nor the rest of the support staff had any idea about the plan to tamper with the ball in the Cape Town Test, and only found out sandpaper was used once the investigation was over, having been told by the players involved at tea and after play on day three that it was sticky tape.
He has been criticised for his silence over the issue, but he was gagged by authorities once it became obvious a major issue had developed on the field.
‘The first I saw of it [Bancroft manipulating the ball] was on that screen, I got straight on the walkie-talkie and said something. There were a couple of expletives in there. Then I spoke to the players at tea time and said we would deal with it at the end of play, which happened through the process.’
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