Fri. May 20th, 2022

“It’s a lot of travel,” Lehmann said. “It has not been that much at the moment because of COVID, but when it opens and you have to catch up on games, we can end up with the Test and T20 teams in different countries.

“That was what happened when I was a coach. We had the test team prepared for a series in South Africa and I was in New Zealand with the T20 team. It will only happen more in the future. ”

Darren Lehmann's five years as Australian coach ended in 2018 after the catastrophic events in South Africa.

Darren Lehmann’s five years as Australian coach ended in 2018 after the catastrophic events in South Africa.Credit:AP

It was the same scenario earlier this year when assistant coach Andrew McDonald took an Australian T20 team to New Zealand as Langer prepared for a test trip to South Africa, which was eventually canceled due to COVID concerns.

Lehmann found that the constant demands on travel were multiplied by the bureaucracy that came with the job.

“You had board meetings, dealing with administration, dealing with states. It’s a big king job, ”he laughed with a touch of anger. “You could say that. I loved it. It was good. But it’s a big king job and you need help!”

In the months before stepping back in tears after Sandpapergate, Lehmann and former high-performing manager Pat Howard worked towards the help that came from one of Australia’s best players.

As assistant coach for Lehmann at times through the summer of 2017-18 and subsequent white-ball tour in New Zealand, Ponting made it clear that he was keen to be Australia’s T20 coach.

“He was an extremely popular candidate and had been incredibly influential on the New Zealand T20 tour,” Howard said. “He had given a lot of energy to the players and coaches during that period.

“Darren trained on that trip, but largely took the back seat. He was obviously tired. I tried to give him a tour a year off. ”

After winning an IPL title coaching the Indians of Mumbai, Ponting is currently coaching the Delhi capitals of the UAE, which sit at the top of the table. He told Herald and Aging he was “very interested” at the time.

“I had a few chats with Pat Howard. It never went into detail with details, timing, resources, structure, etc., as there was no time pressure for that to happen, ”Ponting said. “It was an open discussion.

Ricky Ponting conveys his wisdom to Shikhar Dhawan in his role as Delhi Capitals coach in the IPL.

Ricky Ponting conveys his wisdom to Shikhar Dhawan in his role as Delhi Capitals coach in the IPL.Credit:Getty

“The events in South Africa in March 2018 led to so many changes in Australian cricket, and the appointment of Justin Langer to replace Darren Lehmann across all three forms was definitely the right decision.

“My life has changed a lot since then. IPL remains my coaching priority and it works well with my media commitments with Seven Network, Cricket Australia and Sky in the UK.

“The rest of the year is spent with my family and enjoying a work-life balance that I have never had before. Right now I had to give up so much to take on a national role. It’s just the wrong time for me. ”

This highlights a major problem for Australian cricket. Some of the best candidates for coaching roles at the state and national level like Ponting, Trevor Bayliss and Simon Katich get paid much more for having spent 10 weeks at the IPL rather than 10 months in the Australian system.

Having Ponting in the Australian coaching system would have been a huge advantage. This was brilliantly highlighted during a guest visit as assistant coach for Langer during the World Cup campaign in England in 2019.

Not only was his energy and enthusiasm contagious, his advice was gold, and he proved to be an important confidant for both Langer and the players.

That is a role Ponting would be open to in the future.

“I really enjoyed these one-time stints and I would love to do them again if the circumstances were right for the coaching staff and my own situation,” he said.

Ben Oliver, Cricket Australia’s chief executive of senior performances and national teams, says there are no plans to share the role.

Maybe I’m old-fashioned, but I think it’s still a role for a coach … it’s really important that you have continuity.

Former Australia coach Mickey Arthur

Sources, however, claim that assistant coaches McDonald and Michael Di Venuto have been brought on board with a strategy of taking white ball trips in the future as part of a plan to ease Langer’s load.

Although there have been persistent concerns about Langer’s intense coaching style, it has been micromanagement involving his assistants that has been the latest focus.

There was an attempt to deal with this during a gathering of players and coaching staff before touring the Gold Coast in the middle of the year, with Whiteball captain Aaron Finch later describing some of the feedback Langer received from a player review as “confrontational.”

However, the trips to the Caribbean and Bangladesh in July and August led to more dissatisfaction. Cricket Australia chairman Earl Eddings and CEO Nick Hockley were forced to have an emergency meeting about the coach with Finch, Test captain Tim Paine and vice-captain Pat Cummins.

Limited overs captain Aaron Finch, right, spoke this week about the value of being able to give feedback on coach Justin Langer.

Limited overs captain Aaron Finch, right, spoke this week about the value of being able to give feedback on coach Justin Langer.Credit:AP

The three leaders then had one-on-one sessions with Langer to try to reinforce their concerns.

“It was a really, I suppose, beneficial process to be able to give really strong feedback and see the action that has been taken against it,” Finch said at a graduation press conference on Wednesday, referring to more defined roles for Langer and his assistants.

Mickey Arthur, who was suddenly replaced by Lehmann as Australian coach at the start of the Ashes tour in 2013, has a different view of coaching internationally in the modern game.

Arthur, who previously coached in South Africa, Australia and Pakistan, is currently coaching Sri Lanka in Oman, where his team is playing a series of warm-up matches ahead of the T20 World Cup.

“Maybe I’m old-fashioned, but I think it’s still a role for a coach,” Arthur said.

“It is around you that your assistant coaches are where you get creative with the different disciplines.

“But I think it’s really important that you have continuity, especially with the last two teams I’ve worked with: Pakistan and Sri Lanka. You must have continuity, because within the system you develop trust.


“It’s a system that has not had much consistency in terms of choices and decisions.”

Still, Arthur agrees that an occasional tour is important to provide assistants to coaches.

“You have to be refreshed, but at the moment with COVID, it has just been so hard for everyone,” he said. “As cricketers and coaches, we constantly moan about bubbles, and it’s not fun, it’s not good.

“But we still do what we love, and there are a lot of people who are far worse off than we are.”

Whatever happens to the coaching setup in Australia, something has to give. Many feel that the current one-coach structure cannot continue under the same pressure cooker environment.

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