Lehmann extends contract till 2019 Ashes


Cricket Australia has announced that head coach Darren Lehmann has extended his contract till October 2019, after which he will probably hand the reins to a new coach.

Lehmann’s contract was due to expire in June 2017 and has been extended to cover the Ashes and ICC Cricket World Cup in 2019. After that, assistant coach David Saker has seemingly been installed to take over.

Since Lehmann’s appointment in 2013 he has taken the Test and One Day sides to number one in the world, won a home Ashes Series five nil, beat South Africa in a Test series away from home and won the World Cup in 2015.

Lehmann said he was grateful for the support he had received and was looking forward to the upcoming challenges: "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.

"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."

When asked if this extension would be his last, Boof added: "I would think it would be, yeah.

"I love the job, but it's a job you can't do forever either.

"So whatever opportunities we can give to the guys (fellow members of the coaching staff) along the way we certainly will do.

"And then it's up to the (Cricket Australia) Board and Team Performance department what they do from there."

Executive General Manager Pat Howard said the extension of Lehmann’s contract ensures stability in the build up to significant events for Australian cricket.

Howard said: "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."