Lehmann supports ‘chucking’ crackdown

Australia coach Darren Lehmann is pleased with the way the ICC are going about stamping out illegal bowling, saying it’s good to enforce the rules in a serious way.

This is not a surprising stance from Lehmann, given his side will enjoy a series against Pakistan next month without having to worry about facing Saeed Ajmal, who has been banned after tests showed his action was breaching the legal limit of 15 degrees by more than double.

Ajmal is one of a handful of recent reportees, with Kane Williamson and Sachithra Senanayake already banned, while Zimbabwe’s Prosper Utseya and Bangladesh pair Sohag Gazi and Al-Amin Hossain are being looked at too.

Lehmann told radio channel, Fiveaa: “The ICC have obviously decided to have a crackdown on it and that’s good for the game. We’ve got to make sure that area is right.

“If you’re within the rules then fine, if you’re not, then you’ve got to be looked at. That’s what they have decided to do.

“They have had a real crackdown on four-five players of late so what that tells coaches and players, and everyone coming through the game and the young guys, is you won’t be able to do any of that moving forward.”

The coach then discussed the recent tri-series in Zimbabwe, where they lost in the final to South Africa by six wickets, and also in the round robin stage. They also lost to Zimbabwe for the first time in 31 years.

The Lehmann was happy with the trip, saying he learned a lot about some new players, particularly Mitchell Marsh, and also learned a lot about the Proteas’ tactics ahead of the World Cup next year.

Lehmann added: “Obviously the results were a bit disappointing but we found a few and we haven’t seen a couple of these guys at that level.

“You’ve got to remember we played against a very good side and came up against the best players in the world in [Faf] du Plessis and [AB] de Villiers.

“It was very good for our young players to see that kind of team. We probably got more out of the tournament than South Africa did. We know exactly how they’re going to shape up and what they are going to do.

“They won’t change their set-up. So we know what to expect from them. Obviously, the wickets are nothing like the Australian wickets, so that’s an advantage. They have a very good bowling attack, but it’s good to see them close-up.”