Former Australia coach Darren Lehmann has slammed the media for being unduly harsh and unreasonable in their approach while judging the attitude of the current set of players in the Australian cricketing setup. The former cricketer who recently stepped down as the coach of the Australian team following the public furore over the ball-tampering saga involving key players-David Warner and Steve Smith.Lehmann insisted that the players had never stepped out of line and threatened the spirit of the game during his tenure with the media’s exaggeration following the ball-tampering saga nothing short of detrimental to the interests of Australian cricket. The 48-year-old former Australian batsman further referred to the banter exchanged between players and behaviour on the field during his career in comparison to the current scenario indicating how the cricketing culture had steadily improved over the years.“When I played, there was a lot worse sledging going on in those days and years before. You want to promote the game fairly and play hard but fair on the field,” Lehmann said.“There was a lot of talk about the Australian team being over-aggressive and there were some incidents in some games that they probably pushed it too far. They got dealt with accordingly from the ICC and match referee when they crossed that line but the Australians play that way in essence a lot of the time. They’re not as bad as portrayed in the media.” added Lehmann.Lehmann enjoys an impressive managerial portfolio having previously managed IPL franchises Rajasthan Royals and Kings X1 Punjab to great success before being appointed by the Australian cricket board. In his opinion, it is important to ensure that the new cricketing setup under the leadership of Justin Langer and Tim Paine enjoys complete support which will help in striking the perfect cricketing culture in the coming years. “I think Justin Langer summed it up really well – a bit of banter on the field is good and playing that way.”Lehmann added that it is necessary to ensure that the Australian team registers impressive performances in the upcoming tournaments while playing fair at the same time to boost the faith of the supporters which took a hit following the ball-tampering scandal.
“We as Australians, we want to see the Australian cricket team winning – I do, I’m a fan now sitting on this side. I want to see them win, play well, play fair but you’ve still got to have that right balance and that’s the real tricky art Justin and Tim are going to face this summer,” the 48-year-old said.Lehmann believes that the side enjoys the potential to recover from the negativity surrounding Australian cricket and emerge victorious in the upcoming cricketing series at home against Sri Lanka and India.