The Investec Ashes 2013 August 26, 2013

England plan extra security after Lehmann banter


England's players will be given extra security when they tour Australia later this year because the ECB apparently fears for their safety following comments made by the Australian coach, Darren Lehmann.

The ECB believes that recent comments made by Lehmann, the Australia coach, constituted "incitement" and feel that, as a direct result, the England team may now require more protection than had previously been anticipated.

Lehmann, in a jovial interview to an Australian radio station, called Stuart Broad a "cheat" for not walking in the first Test at Trent Bridge and urged the Australian public to "get stuck into him when he gets out to Australia."

"I hope that the Australian public just give it to him right from the word go for the whole summer," Lehmann said. "And I hope he cries and goes home."

The ICC subsequently fined Lehmann and, while his apology to Broad has been accepted, the ECB, at least, feels the damage is done.

"There probably will be extra security for everyone," Andy Flower, the England coach said. "It's something we're taking very seriously.

"We enjoyed our tour of Australia last time. There's always a little bit of barracking and what have you, but in the main it's fairly good natured and I'd hope it'll be the same this next trip."

Lehmann sought out Broad during post-series celebrations at The Oval and apologised. "I've had a chat with him already and we just move on," he said. "It was a good learning curve for a new coach, wasn't it, you know - a jovial setting, but you've got to learn from that."

Flower expressed particular disappointment that his opposite number had made what England regard as an unwarranted and potentially inflammatory attack on one of their players.

"I think when we are put in these positions they are fairly responsible positions," Flower said. "You have to take those responsibilities seriously. I don't think that was a well-judged thing to say, but we are looking forward to going to Australia. We really enjoyed the challenge last time, we enjoyed exploring the country and the Australian public were excellent, so we hope that'll be the same next time."

An ECB media release following the announcement of the ICC's sanctions against Lehmann stated: "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."

Whether the ECB's indignation is genuine or part of a concerted public-relations effort to apply pressure upon the Australian coach is debatable. But it was noticeable that even while Flower dismissed questions about members of the team urinating on the Oval pitch as they celebrated the result as "ridiculous", he could not resist one final barb at the opposition. "It's nice to be able to celebrate a win," he said.

Broad seems to want to let the matter rest. He said on twitter: "Spoke to Darren Lehmann last night. He apologised for his comments, I accepted it. He said they were made in Jest for banter. Done."

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Heath on August 27, 2013, 12:14 GMT

    I think the booing by the English crowds will cause some friction between the fans in Australia rather than Lehmann's comments. Should be quite a spirited series.

  • Antony on August 27, 2013, 11:56 GMT

    I don't think Lehmann needs to incite anyone. The English mob, who seem to love to boo like football yobs these days, have done the inciting for him.

  • Sean on August 27, 2013, 11:47 GMT

    I wouldnt bother, the entire barmy army will have his back.

  • Robert on August 27, 2013, 11:20 GMT

    Ridiculous. For anyone who heard the interview it was all just fun banter. Enjoy wasting your money on extra security ECB. More jobs for Australians. @sailboat mike. Can't agree with anything you said though those England-rose coloured glasses.

  • Chris on August 27, 2013, 9:15 GMT

    Yogi108 - you are quite entitled to dislike the England team - and certainly Broad is an edgy character - but I don't understand why you think they are 'highly over-rated'. By whom? The English press has given them as much stick for winning 3-0 as they did for losing 5-0. I never liked Warne or Ponting - but I respected their performances. The numbers don't lie. England's success is driven by a batting line up with 87 test centuries and a bowling attack with 880 test wickets. Not the best in history or anything like it - but a decent side.

    As for Lehmann's comments I agree they were out of order. I really object to Broad being called a cheat just because he accepted the decision of the umpire. I agree with Frank99 - whatever you want to call it, it is certainly not cheating.

  • Raja on August 27, 2013, 6:37 GMT

    As far as I have observed, Australia is on the edge kind of team. They do things casually and in a jovial manner with so much energy. I don't see any danger in Lehmann's comments. Australia know that it's healthy competitive banter. In fact these comments from Lehmann will make the upcoming series more interesting and powerful to watch. Waiting.

  • John on August 27, 2013, 6:32 GMT

    @CantFindMyScreenName on (August 27, 2013, 1:21 GMT), "I also note it's OK to complain and be pious about a radio interview, but urinating on the field is just fine". I think that I speak for most England fans when I say that Lehmann has every right to be annoyed and even angry at what happened with Broad but he doesn't really have a right to be angry AT Broad. He did nothing that many cricketers and many Australian cricketers haven't done many times before. My issue is the fact that Lehmann came out in public and accused Broad of cheating when he didn't, based on the fact that he hit the ball to slip when he didn't. That's just not right from an international coach. If you can't be interesting without calling the opposition's character into question then you're not being a "character" yourself. As for the urination incident, it's rather crass but it's not like they did it during the game. It was in the dark, at night, when they thought noone was watching. No harm was done.

  • Paul on August 27, 2013, 1:21 GMT

    While the comments from Lehmann weren't well thought out, it was a humorous radio interview.

    Complaints and over the top outrage over things like this are the reasons sports interviews are all generic and boring these days.

    I hope the people that were "outraged" over this aren't the same people that complain about the lack of 'characters' in the game today.

    I also note it's OK to complain and be pious about a radio interview, but urinating on the field is just fine.

  • Fred on August 27, 2013, 0:46 GMT

    Like many of the current Australian set up Lehmann has much to learn. The issue of 'walking' is a simple one. Either you walk (and accept the times when you didn't hit it, but the umpire believed you did) or you wait and accept the umpires call - that's certainly not cheating although a little naive on Broad's part to admit he hit it.

  • Yogesh on August 27, 2013, 0:15 GMT

    I am a neutral fan and dislike the current English side - highly over-rated, and full of spoilt brats like Broad - but Lehmann's comments were shocking. Definitely inflammatory and crossing the line. Some banter, indeed.

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