Melbourne, May 9: Forced to step down as Australia's coach owing to the ball-tampering scandal, Darren Lehmann will now groom young talent as part of a National Performance Programme here, Cricket Australia announced on Wednesday (May 9).
In his new role, Lehmann will work under Cricket Australia's National Performance Programme head coach Troy Cooley. Lehmann, who worked with National Cricket Centre in Brisbane before taking charge of the national team, will oversee the development of the National Performance Squad (NPS) over the winter months alongside Cooley, Ryan Harris and Chris Rogers.
The 48-year-old Lehmann was appointed as head coach of Australia till 2019, but was forced to resign midway through his tenure following the Cape Town ball-tampering fiasco in March, despite being cleared of any wrongdoing. The former batsman had annouced his resignation in an emotional press conference during which he broken down repeatedly.
According to CA, Lehmann will now work in his new position until October. "I had a good chat with 'Boof' (Lehmann) and he was really keen to continue his coaching," Cooley was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au. "And what a great opportunity - having his expert skills in the areas that we need. He'll work with our targeted group of NPS players, but we'll also have our specialist blocks come in; so his first four weeks will coincide with our spin program, which involves eight spinners from around the country plus the 10 NPS players.
"They'll all be able to talk to Darren about playing on subcontinental wickets, get his T20 thoughts, one-day and long-format thoughts about how to play and how to adjust your training," Cooley added.
Cooley also said that Lehmann's experience will be an asset in developing young Australian cricketers. "To have someone who's got that experience matching up with our coaching staff, it's invaluable," he said. "It's also great experience for our coaches in 'Ryno' (Harris) and 'Buck' (Rogers), who are still learning their craft. And Darren has already told me he is relishing the opportunity, so it's win-win all round." Lehmann is scheduled to begin in his new role from May 28.