Strauss, Lehmann set sights on 2019 Ashes and World Cup
Director of England cricket Andrew Strauss and Australian coach Darren Lehmann have set their respective sights on the 2019 season which includes an Ashes campaign and the World Cup.
Both men are looking to build long-term road maps for their respective teams, following the recently concluded Ashes series, which was won by England.
After the 2015 World Cup, Strauss was appointed as the Director for England Cricket, with his chief responsibility being the development of a long-term strategy for the team.
Strauss says he is happy with his role of an administrator, but he added that there were times he wished he was a part of the current England team.
“I think you have moments," he said.
“You saw the England team bouncing up and down.
“Having won at Trent Bridge you think those are the moments you relish and all the work you do, that is the reason you do it.
“There is always going to be a tinge of jealousy, I suppose you want to be there.
“I think for me, I have been lucky enough to experience some of that.
“You get some reflected glory by doing this kind of job (as an administrator).”
Stating that the role assigned to him comes with certain challenges, Strauss has set his goal for the 2019 Ashes and World Cup.
“You feel like you are making some decisions that hopefully will help the team perform in the long run.
“In my case, 2019 is a real focus with the Ashes and the World Cup.
“It is nice to be involved, it is nice to have the blood pumping through your veins when the guys go out there.
“It is a good feeling.”
Speaking about the cricketing rivalry between England and Australia, Strauss believes that the two nations have a lot in common when it comes to sports.
“I think that (the rivalry) is one of the great things about Ashes cricket in general, or competitions between Australia and England.
“It is actually quite a good natured rivalry.
“Not much difference between the nations in terms of how they go about their sports.
“I don’t think there is anything that is massively different there.”
After Strauss’ appointment in the administrative role, England have seen a drastic improvement in their approach to the game.
Strauss has been credited with giving the England team a new direction, and the Ashes victory added a feather to his cap.
Nevertheless, Strauss is of the opinion that team culture was one of the aspects of the game which one cannot understand completely.
“I think culture is one of those very intangible things, it is very hard to put your finger on (it).
“Because it is intangible, it is hard to define it easily.
“I think you see demonstrations or illustrations of culture by how the team operates.
“You can watch a team and go ‘that looks like they’ve got a strong culture there’.
“It is hard for anyone to come in and go ‘right, we are going to change the culture’.
“I think it is an ongoing thing.
“The way you can influence a culture rather than change it is by nudging people in the right direction.”
On the other hand, Australia have seen a reversal of fortunes right after an impressive victory in the 2015 World Cup.
Coming into the campaign as the favorites, Australia failed to live up to that tag by losing their fourth consecutive Ashes series in England.
Australia are also about to undergo another period of transition due to the retirements of Ryan Harris, Michael Clarke, Chris Rogers and Shane Watson.
Despite the Ashes loss and the flurry of changes in the team, Lehmann is staying otimistic by hoping to give the young team a new direction.
“Losing normally creates selection debates," he said.
“We have obviously seen that with the few retirements we have had so far.
“We are going to have a younger team to deal with.
“What it means is you have to find the right balance between experience and youth and still passing on the knowledge that you want to create this sustainable team that can play for 2019 for example, (with the) Ashes and World Cup.
“For us, that is a challenge with the young group.”
Lehmann also thanked the senior players of the team for passing on their knowledge to the current crop of youngsters.
“The pleasing thing is that the experienced players have been so good for so long, that they have taught these younger players a lot about what we want to do and how we want to do it which makes it a lot easier.”
Having secured the 2015 World Cup, Lehmann is now targeting defending the title when it is played in England.
Taking a long-term view, Lehmann is confident that Australia have the right resources to build a team that can defend their title four years from now.
“We are already looking for the 2019 World Cup for example.
“Some of the players might get there for that because we are playing in England.
“It is a bigger group if you like. You need really good staff that can gel that group in the middle.
“We have great state coaches in Justin Langer and some really good coaches at the NCC, very much like the Loughborough setup in England.”
The ongoing One-Day International series between England and Australia is currently poised at 2-0 in favour of the visitors with three games left to be played.
© Cricket World 2015