Wednesday February 28, 2024

‘They’re good human beings and I love them dearly’

By Agnencies
May 07, 2018

SYDNEY: Darren Lehmann, the former Australia coach, keeps in touch with and worries about the trio of players banned for ball tampering. Former captain Steven Smith, former vice-captain David Warner and batsman Cameron Bancroft are “bl***y good human beings”, and Lehmann hopes they’ll be forgiven their cricketing transgressions by everyone in time.

“They are all good young men, I feel for the three players especially. I worry about them day-in, day-out,” Lehmann told Adelaide-based Radio FIVEaa. “I hope they come back and play for Australia because they’re fantastic young men and they’ve paid the price.

“For me Australian cricket is the most important thing and hopefully everyone can get back and play the right type of cricket that makes everyone respect and enjoy the Australian cricket team again. It has been a tough six weeks for myself, but I put myself in David Warner’s shoes, Cameron Bancroft, Steve Smith... they’ve been to hell and back, haven’t they?

“Hopefully, everyone forgives them. I’m sure they will. They’re bl***y good human beings and I love them dearly. I speak to them quite a lot. It’s a case of keeping in contact because I worry about them. They’re going okay.”

Smith, Warner and Bancroft received bans from Cricket Australia in late March for their part in the ball-tampering affair on the tour to South Africa. Smith and Warner will only be available to play for Australia in April 2019, about two months out from the World Cup.

Bancroft, meanwhile, will be eligible by January 2019. The three were also banned from leadership roles in Australian cricket to varying degrees.