The Investec Ashes 2013 August 23, 2013

Lehmann's comments 'incitement' - ECB


The ECB has stepped up the pressure on Australia's coach, Darren Lehmann, for his attack on Stuart Broad by accusing Lehmann of "incitement" and warning that they will take "all necessary steps" to ensure Broad's safety in the return Ashes series in Australia this winter.

England's unforgiving response looks bound to lead to the safeguard of additional security for Broad throughout the Australia tour in case Lehmann's comments on a Melbourne radio station lead to threats of aggression against him.

It is not clear whether the player has expressed concerns about his safety. Neither has there been any indication from Cricket Australia about whether they regard any such fears as remotely justified.

Lehmann, the first coach to be fined by the ICC for making comments about an opposition player, pleaded guilty to a charge of "publicly criticising and making inappropriate comments" about Broad during an intemperate interview, characterised by laddish banter, on the Melbourne radio station Triple M on the eve of the Oval Test.

He had invited the Australian public to target Broad and accused him of cheating for not walking during the first Test at Trent Bridge when he clearly edged a catch which rebounded to first slip off the wicketkeeper's gloves.

"I hope the Australian public give it to him right from the word go for the whole summer," Lehmann said. "And I hope he cries and goes home… Certainly our players haven't forgotten; they're calling him everything under the sun as they go past. I hope the Australian public are the same because that was just blatant cheating. I don't advocate walking but, when you hit it to first slip, it's pretty hard."

Lehmann has been widely condemned in the media and by former players including the ex-Australian captain Ian Chappell for double standards and unprofessional behaviour.

He was also fined 20% of his match fee by Roshan Mahanama, the ICC match referee after an intervention by the ICC's chief executive Dave Richardson.

Richardson said: "Whilst noting the context and nature of the comments made, showing mutual respect for one's fellow professionals - including for coaches, players and match officials - is a cornerstone of how we play the game."

The ECB has decided, however, that the matter should not end there, issuing a statement on Friday evening which read: "England and Wales Cricket Board, having reviewed the disciplinary process undertaken by the International Cricket Council overnight, have welcomed the swift action taken and also noted Cricket Australia's acceptance of the sanctions handed down to their team coach Darren Lehmann.

"The ECB, in supporting its players, management support staff and their families, believe no one in the game condones incitement of any kind and we will take all necessary steps to ensure safety on tour. The ECB now wishes to bring this disappointing incident to a close and will make no further comment."

Lehmann, it seems, has yet to adjust to an increasingly globalised world where somebody in his influential position can no longer temper his message to a selective audience without it becoming more public knowledge.

It remains to be seen whether his relaxed, outspoken attitude can prove successful in the present-day environment where every comment is logged, analysed and held to account.

England's public statements, by contrast, are repeatedly criticised as anodyne, but they generally possess a measure of self control which ensures they are not left open to the same allegations.

David Hopps is the UK editor of ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on August 25, 2013, 10:03 GMT

    I sometimes wonder if any of the people in charge of the game have actually played cricket. Walking hardly occurs at any level of the game and anyone playing league cricket without official umpires knows that lbw is not going to happen unless the player is sitting on the stumps. This sort of behaviour is the norm in the game from top to bottom, perhaps if the top level players walked then it might filter down. Could always use tech after the game and hand out bans for blatant cheating but that is a whole new kettle of fish, rife with potential issues.

    As for Lehmann, he seems to like a bit of banter, one of the lads type, perhaps he needs to be a little more conservative when interacting with the media. Broad will love the challenge of the Aussie crowd, he is not the type to wind up. Seriously the top level of the game is played in the head anyway, anyone who can't deal with heckling is not going to succeed.

  • Neil on August 25, 2013, 9:26 GMT

    I think this will help Broad and get him fired up to perform. He seems the type who responds well to the 'backs against the wall' kind of approach. Lehmann may have inadvertently given Eng a huge boost with his immature ramblings.

  • Bob on August 25, 2013, 9:03 GMT

    "The ECB now wishes to bring this disappointing incident to a close and will make no further comment." What? I can't believe what I have just read, and even more, that the ECB felt it had to have it's 10 cents worth in the first place! Lehmann was ajudjed out of order, has been penalised, and has copped it on the chin. There it should end, but it must be said that Lehmann really is a breath of fresh air. Make no mistake, there will be retribution and Broad will have to wear it. It will be on the field, where it should be, and we will get to see how much of a man Broad really is. T'would be great to see him pasted from boundary to boundary and cop a fair bit of chin music. Can't wait for the Aussie summer!

  • alen on August 25, 2013, 6:43 GMT

    Who is Lehman to comment about Australia public does he thinks public is behind him supporting for their poor run in ashes ? Does he think Australia public will welcome their team with red carpet for what there achieved.Australia public is certainly not happy with their players itself from the tour of India. Every player in Australia team had there own share of luck.Every one was criticizing team for misusing DRS in their first test.Lehman knows their public will not support them for loosing ashes so he is trying to gain some support from the public by making such statements.

    If you see Rogers in 3rd test he was out clear LBW showed on big screen did the walk off ? he just went on and made century which still resulted in Australia loosing the test match.

  • Satish on August 25, 2013, 4:54 GMT

    It all started with Broad being accused (by some) that he was not upholding the "spirit of the game". I think we are taking this "principle" too far., more so as it can be interpreted differently by people. Just as in DRS, why leave the decision of being out/not out in the hands of players? That's what umpires/referees are there for, isn't it?

  • Pulkit on August 25, 2013, 3:15 GMT

    Additional security against what? the barrage of harsh words he'll be subject to? ECB is making a mountain out of a mole hill here. Lehmann was angry and it came out - is it really so hard to understand that he believed he'd won a game if it wasn't for Broad not walking? No. Nothing more to it. What's done is done and I'm sure he understands it to. It was stupid of him to not be mindful because all the media is doing now is twisting his words and making it seem like he wants to inflict physical damage upon Broad.

    As for Broad...he better get used to it. He made a conscious decision to stay and must bear the consequences. No harm done. He's already used to criticism by now so might as well carry on and perform well to shut his opponents up.

  • Dummy4 on August 25, 2013, 2:46 GMT

    This is really sad about the Australian, You want to punish Broad for this , But what about the Australians when they didnot walk after they were out, I know one Incident when India has gone to play to Ausrtalia in 2000 at that time Steve Waugh was out But he didnot Walk, & when He was asked about the same He replied that When I was Not out But Umpires Declared me out I have to go , So If He thinks that I m NotOut then Why should I go, Now This is said by one of their Great Captain, This is your Sportsmanship & Your Expecting from others to be Honest Why should they

  • Dummy4 on August 25, 2013, 1:06 GMT

    Lehmann is not a Layman to comment about the opposition, when the game & series is still on. His frustration has caused lot more people, who were sympathising with OZ team for the act BROAD ( But His mind is narrow), to leave the camp. When the child is weak and not in a position to compete, would emotionally get upset and cry bitterly.

  • Syed Asad on August 25, 2013, 0:58 GMT

    Where do we draw the line whether or not the action by player is in the best interest of game. We term any wrongdoing by a player as cheating but what is cheating. A fielder claims a grassed catch is cheating but a batsmen does not walk after offering a catch is not? A bowler deceive an umpire is cheating but a batsman deceive an umpire is not.

    Broad did not walk after offering a catch at slip is not something new. Except Gilchrist, not a single Australian player (including Lehmann) ever walked after offering a catch.

    Cricket was introduced as gentleman game. It remained as gentleman game for a long time and then it evolved. Cricket for the past many years is a loser. Cricket was a loser when sledging was allowed. Cricket was a loser when players decided to let umpire decide whether or not they were out. Cricket was a loser when an umpire walked into the dressing room to apologise the player during a match. Cricket was a loser when an underarm ball was allowed just to win

  • Dummy4 on August 24, 2013, 20:41 GMT

    I don't really like Australia but I'll take them anyday over England. Staurt Broad is egotistical and is blatant about cheating. Lt doesn't matter if someone has cheated. His doing it doesn't make it right and is not something to be proud of