Darren Lehmann helped the Brisbane Heat win the Big Bash League in 2013. (Image credit: Cricket Australia Twitter)
The ball-tampering scandal in the Cape Town Test between South Africa and Australia rocked the cricketing world for a couple of months. Cameron Bancroft was caught on camera removing yellow sandpaper to alter the condition of the ball. Along with Bancroft, Steve Smith and David Warner were also guilty and they were banned by Cricket Australia for one year. The other notable casualty in the list was Darren Lehmann, who was the coach of the Australian cricket team and resigned in tears following the scandal. Australia went on to lose the four-Test series 3-1 and it was their first loss in South Africa after 48 years.
Almost a year after the scandal, Lehmann is back as coach but this time it will be for the Brisbane Heat franchise in the Big Bash League. The former Australian left-handed batsman had helped the Heat win the Big Bash League title in 2013 and it was this experience that helped him secure the post of Australia's head coach for the 2013 Ashes following the acrimonious exit of Mickey Arthur. "I think you learn a lot about yourself during the dark times and for me it's all about enjoying the game. I've fallen in love with the game again, so I'm really looking forward to getting back working with some young guys with a lot of talent,” Lehmann said.
Lehmann, along with much of Australia's senior management, accused of overseeing a toxic culture that allowed a win-at-all-costs mentality to flourish. “That hurt a lot of people didn't it, all of us involved. Obviously it's time to move on though isn't it? That's the thing." The 49-year-old was emphatic when asked if he had any desire to return to international coaching. "No. I'm not travelling 300 days away a year again and I don't think my wife would let me," he said.
Recently, Steve Smith had opened up about the ball-tampering scandal during a press conference in Sydney. “Something happened out on the field and I had the opportunity to stop it at that point rather than say I don't want to know anything about it, that was my failure and I've taken responsibility for that,” Smith said. The Australia skipper, whose ban ends in March, admitted that watching the Australian team struggle after he was banned was the hardest thing he had faced.