Melbourne, April 21 (IANS) Former Australia fielding coach Greg Blewett revealed former head coach Darren Lehmann was affected a lot as he didn’t get a chance to end his stint with the team on a positive note. Lehmann stepped down in the aftermath of the infamous Cape Town ball-tampering scandal that rocked Australian cricket.

Then skipper Steve Smith and deputy David Warner were handed respective one-year suspensions while Cameron Bancroft was banned from the game for nine months. Lehmann took moral responsibility for the incident, although it was later concluded that he played no part in it.

“That knocked him around massively – all of a sudden it was over and it was like he didn’t get a chance for any closure on that chapter of his life,” Blewett told cricket.com.au.

“It all happens really quickly; all of a sudden, Justin Langer’s in the job, they start playing again, and it’s probably like, ‘That’s still my team, but someone else is in charge’.

“It definitely knocked him around. I could see it in him. We were both working in the media and I’d see him at the games, and even just the way he was carrying himself — the shoulders were slumped a bit and there wasn’t that strut that he normally has. Just little things like that I noticed, having spent a lot of time with him — you could just tell it had affected him.”

The Aussie coaching job is one of the most scrutinised roles in world cricket as the pressure that comes with it is immense. Lehmann, who sat on the hot seat before Langer, believes the enforced break due to COVID-19 pandemic will help the current head coach, both mentally and physically, in the long run.

“I think you naturally have stress in the job from the pressures you’re under,” Lehmann told cricket.com.au. “I know Justin has had times where he’s really struggled with that, and that’s been a learning curve for him to get through, and he’s starting to do that well.

“But it’s a life span — how long can you keep doing it before it does change you?

“I said to (Langer) the other day, that in a weird way, this is a really good enforced break for him right now — I think it will be good for his coaching and good for him as a person.

“He’s been in the job two years and he’s having a break now, which is actually not bad — I didn’t get that.”

–IANS

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