`Boof’ Lehmann hangs up his bootsNovember 19th, 2007 - 4:42 pm ICT by admin
Sydney, Nov.19 (ANI): Australian cricketer Darren “Boof” Lehmann today announced his retirement from all forms of cricket, saying that he will be playing his last game for South Australia this week.
Australian domestic cricket’s all-time leading run-scorer told reporters at the South Australian Cricket Association’s Adelaide Oval headquarters that he was calling it a day because of a worn out achilles heel and creaky back.
Sources were quoted by Fox Sports as saying that he was also dissatisfied with the direction of South Australian cricket under high performance director Rod Marsh.
“There is a little bit of something there between Rod and Darren. His (Lehmann’s) body’s tired. He’s had 20 years of first-class cricket going back and forth to England.”
Lehmann himself said that injuries had been the deciding factor in calling it a day on a career which yielded more 25,000 first class runs. He denied that he’d been asked to quit by the South Australian Cricket Association.
When asked about Marsh, Lehmann said that as a player Marsh was one of his idols, but that they had different views on how to manage a cricket team.
Lehmann’s bombshell comes amid simmering discontent within the SACA over the Redbacks’ long run of dismal form.
Without a win in the Pura Cup and sitting second bottom in the one-day competition, pressure is mounting to dump skipper Nathan Adcock midway through the season. But the problems extend beyond the plight of Adcock, who insiders believe was handed a poisoned chalice given SA cricket’s deep structural problems.
A host of young players vaulted into the state team over the past six years has failed to meet expectations, renewing calls from some quarters for an overhaul of the state’s cricket framework, perhaps including a reduction in Adelaide’s 13 grade teams.
Recruited as a Mr Fixit in August 2006, Marsh has been a magnet for controversy, most recently for recruiting NSW fringe player Daniel Christian.
After making his debut as a 17-year-old in 1987-88, Lehmann quickly dazzled spectators and confounded bowlers with his open-shouldered drives, swatting strokeplay square of the wicket and deft deflections.
Tipped to be a mainstay of the Test middle order after being named 12th man for a Sydney Test against Pakistan in 1990, Australia’s dominance meant Lehmann had to wait another eight years for a spot in the XI. Injuries and a star-studded middle order meant he played 27 Tests over six years, scoring 1798 runs at 44.95 with five centuries, including a highest score of 177 against Bangladesh in Cairns in 2003.
Lehmann briefly served as Australia vice-captain and was an able adviser during Ricky Ponting’s early days as captain.
Other highlights include playing in South Australia’s Sheffield Shield wining side in 1995-96, being named a Wisden cricketer of the year in 2001, and playing in two winning World Cup sides, including hitting the winning runs in the 1999 final at Lord’s. (ANI)
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