Saker: Lehmann a ‘fantastic cricket person’


New Australia assistant coach David Saker has reiterated that he has no problem with head coach Darren Lehmann, and that he expects they will work well together in the upcoming months.

Saker and Lehmann clashed last year in the media over the way fast bowlers Peter Siddle and James Pattinson were treated. Saker was displeased by Pattinson being called up when not fully fit, while Lehmann didn’t like Siddle’s lack of game time at Victoria.

But Saker, the former Bushrangers coach, says that was a purely professional disagreement and has no impact on how they interact as people.

He said on the CA website: “It was just me sticking up for my players and him sticking up for his players and his decisions.

“We talked quite regularly on the phone and it may have come out in the media that it was a bit of a toe-to-toe but we just needed to stick up for what we believed in.

“I have always been that way and that’s probably helped me get into the position that got with him.

“I have a good relationship with him. He’s a fantastic cricket person, a good guy to spend time with and talk to about cricket.

“I am going to enjoy having a few beers around the bar and talk cricket with him, it’ll be interesting.”

Saker was the England bowling coach for five years before going to Victoria, and he says he learned a lot during that time, even though pans didn’t always work out, as paceman Steve Finn can attest.

Saker added: “I think the English coach a lot differently than Australians. They think a lot outside of the box and that’s not one of my strong points, but I saw a lot of that there.

“Sometimes you think it’s quite strange, what they do. Some of it ended up working, and some of it didn’t … they just think about the game more outside of the box. Sometimes to their detriment.

“But that was really good for me to watch how people did that. Obviously we had two great senior fast bowlers Jimmy Anderson and Stuart Broad and a lot of good periphery players.

“It was an enjoyable five years.”