Darren Lehmann apologises for Ashes defeat
Australian coach Darren Lehmann has apologised for losing the Ashes to England, while accepting the blame for the manner in which the team lost the matches at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge.
After losing the first Test at Cardiff, Australia bounced back very well to win the second Test at Lord’s by a massive 405 runs.
However, the visitors gave up their hold on the famed urn after slumping to stunning defeats in the third and fourth Tests, which ended in under three days.
Tendering an apology to all the fans on behalf of the entire team and support staff, Lehmann agreed that Australia played poor cricket against a quality opposition.
“We have been poor, 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," he said.
“On behalf of our team I want to apologise 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 is well aware that the team will have to deal with the criticism from the press for they enjoyed positive coverage when they performed well in the last couple of years.
“There’s no question we haven’t performed as we expected and we appreciate that in those circumstances we have to accept negative criticism from the media because we’ve had so much positive coverage during our success over the past two years.”
Lehmann also strongly came down on allegations that the poor form displayed by the Australians on the field had anything to do with the presence of the players’ families on tour.
“And while we’re happy to cop criticism for the way we bat, bowl, field or prepare I believe it’s unfair to suggest having families with us as a reason for our on-field efforts.
“I can’t think of any other sport in which the players are away from their homes and their loved ones for such long stretches of time.
“And, as such, we will continue to welcome families as part of any tour because it is simply unrealistic to expect them to spend those long periods apart.”
Following the innings defeat at Trent Bridge, Australian captain Michael Clarke announced his decision to retire after the fifth Test.
Clarke, who has been struggling for runs in Tests since recovering from his hamstring injury, felt that it was the right time to step aside to allow a new captain to build a new team.
Reflecting on the 34-year-old’s decision and his career, Lehmann hoped that the team will give Clarke the send-off he richly deserves.
“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.”
Australia will take part in a tour game against Northamptonshire, following which they will take on England in the fifth and final Test on 20th August at The Oval.
© Cricket World 2015