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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 23 March 2019

Darren Lehmann returns to Brisbane Heat in first coaching role since Australia

Former Test batsman was contracted to the national team until after this year's Ashes but resigned following the ball-tampering scandal in Cape Town

Darren Lehmann has returned to Brisbane Heat for a second stint as the Big Bash League team's coach. Getty Images
Darren Lehmann has returned to Brisbane Heat for a second stint as the Big Bash League team's coach. Getty Images

Darren Lehmann is returning to Big Bash side Brisbane Heat in his first coaching role since resigning as Australia coach in the wake of the Cape Town ball-tampering scandal.

Lehmann returns to the Heat for a second stint as head coach, having previously led them to the 2012/13 title in the second edition of the domestic Twenty20 tournament.

"It was a wonderful experience at the time to be involved with building the Brisbane Heat at the start of the BBL, and we had plenty of fun along the way," the 49-year-old former Test batsman said.

"I am looking forward to getting to work and helping the Heat play some outstanding cricket, have some fun, and provide our fans with a great experience."

Lehmann, who replaces the outgoing Daniel Vettori, will start the role next week.

Nicknamed 'Boof', Lehmann was contracted as head coach of Australia through to this year's Ashes series but resigned in tears last March after captain Steve Smith, vice-captain David Warner and Cameron Bancroft were banned for the 'sandpaper-gate' scandal.

Lehmann was cleared of wrongdoing by governing body Cricket Australia but carried much of the blame in the eyes of local media for failing to rein in player misconduct.

"It was a tough time for everyone involved, none more so than the three players," Lehmann, who guided Australia to two Ashes victories and the 2015 World Cup win on home soil, told reporters on Thursday.

"So for me it's a case of really enjoying the game again. I went away and watched the game all summer, which was absolutely fantastic."

He added that he had no ambitions of coaching at the national level again.

"No, I'm not travelling 300 days away again a year and I don't think my wife would let me either," he said.

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The Heat finished fifth in the 2018/19 tournament won by Melbourne Renegades, and the team's general manager, Andrew McShea, said he is delighted to have Lehmann back on board ahead of next season.

"Darren has vast experience as a coach and as a manager of talented players," McShea said. "We believe he can hit the ground running, and work towards the Heat providing its fans with outstanding experience in BBL 09 and beyond.

"It's a bonus for us that he understands the rationale behind the Heat from his earlier days with us, but this appointment was not about past glories.

"Darren stood out as someone who brings together innovation and extensive cricketing insights as well as a passion for success. He has made his home in Queensland with his family and naturally we are very pleased to welcome him back into the fold at Queensland Cricket."

Updated: March 7, 2019 07:52 PM

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