Darren Lehmann unfazed by ICC's crackdown on bad behaviour
Melbourne, Feb 11 - Australian coach Darren Lehmann appears to be ignoring the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) crackdown on bad on-field behaviour, saying he'll let his team continue playing in the style that created so much controversy over the summer.
The ICC has been upfront in admitting it will be targeting players who overuse sledging at the World Cup, with certain unnamed repeat offenders in the governing body's crosshairs.
One of the players with the longest rap sheets when it comes to this topic is Australia's David Warner. But despite the very real risk that he could be slapped with a ban if he unleashes on an opponent during the World Cup, Lehmann won't tell the fiery opener to change his ways.
"We'll let them go play the game as they normally would," Lehmann was quoted as saying by news.com.au.
"Nice, aggressive, fair and making sure they're not crossing the line."
When opening batsman Warner has transgressed in the past, Lehmann has trotted out a similar line. The coach said if anyone "crosses the line" then the officials will deal with it, and that's the end of that.
Lehmann's stance comes a day after New Zealand umpire Billy Bowden, who will officiate in matches at the World Cup, said there was nothing wrong with a bit of sledging as long as it was done in the right way.
"You don't want to clone them all into little choir boys. A lot of it is a lot of fun and a lot of banter," Bowden said.
"There's all types of personalities out there. As long as it's not aggressive or personal - there's zero tolerance with that. Discipline, that's where it counts - respecting the game, their opponents and umpires."