Lehmann apologizes for Australia’s ‘poor’ Ashes campaign
MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Australia cricket coach Darren Lehmann has publicly apologized for his team’s dismal performance in its Ashes series loss to England.
In a column posted on the Cricket Australia website Wednesday, Lehman admitted the team was “poor” during the current series, adding “we have been outplayed by a superior opponent and, as coaching staff, players and selectors, we fully accept the blame for our losses at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge,”
Australia suffered a humiliating defeat by an innings and 78 runs in the fourth test at Trent Bridge to lose the Ashes 3-1 with one match left, coming after a 169-run defeat in Cardiff to start the series and an eight-wicket loss at Edgbaston in the third test.
“Not only do we want to be accountable for our efforts, but on behalf of our team I want to apologize for the manner in which we have lost, especially to those tour groups and individual fans who paid to travel to the UK to watch us and to the millions more tuning in at home,” Lehmann said.
“We understand how disappointing the series has been, and I can reassure you we are doing our very best as a group to identify the areas in which we need to improve in order to ensure we get better as a team,” he added.
Lehmann also defended soon-to-retire captain Michael Clarke who has come in for criticism from Australian media and former players for his part in the Ashes performance and his decision to retire.
“Michael deserves the chance to go out with the respect and dignity that he has undoubtedly earned over a fantastic career, and I want to see that career suitably celebrated,” he said.
“As a coach and as a selection panel, we know how much pressure and scrutiny comes with the job of captaining Australia’s test team and we want him to enjoy some time with his family who have come over to see him play his final test.”
The fifth and final Ashes test will be played from Aug. 20 at The Oval.