Lehmann confirmed as new Heat coach
Former Austraila mentor returns to coaching, taking the reins at Brisbane BBL club
6 March 2019, 08:29 PM AEST
Darren Lehmann has been confirmed as the new coach of the Brisbane Heat.
In what will be his first coaching role since resigning as Australia's head coach over last year's ball-tampering affair, Lehmann returns to the club he led to the BBL|02 title, shortly before he took up the national job in 2013.
Lehmann's name as a potential candidate to replace the outgoing Daniel Vettori surfaced last week, though there appeared at least three other strong contenders for the position in current Queensland coach Wade Seccombe, Bulls assistant coach James Hopes, and ex-Heat skipper Brendon McCullum.
But Lehmann won out and is set to officially begin as the Heat's coach next week.
"It was a wonderful experience at the time to be involved with building the Brisbane Heat at the start of the BBL, and we had plenty of fun along the way,'' said Lehmann.
"I enjoyed watching the BBL, and the Heat, during the season and as a coach, I am pretty excited to be working with the Heat players, who I know are as talented and determined as anyone going around.
"I am looking forward to getting to work and helping the Heat play some outstanding cricket, have some fun, and provide our fans with a great experience."
Lehmann was slated to step down as Australia's coach after the 2019 Ashes in England but resigned in tears amid the Cape Town ball-tampering scandal 12 months ago.
The former Test batsman was cleared of any wrongdoing by a formal Cricket Australia (CA) investigation of the happenings in Cape Town, which resulted in year-long bans for Steve Smith and David Warner.
In an interview with AAP last October, he stated his desire to return to coaching, suggesting, "a shorter commitment is probably the way to go ... that's probably what I'm looking for."
Lehmann oversaw Ashes success at home in 2013-14 and 2017-18, plus Australia's 2015 World Cup triumph, but his role in the side's aggressive mentality – which was at least in part a catalyst for a cultural review at CA – has been questioned.
"It's a bonus for us that he understands the rationale behind the Heat from his earlier days with us, but this appointment was not about past glories," Brisbane Heat general manager Andrew McShea said.
"Darren stood out as someone who brings together innovation and extensive cricketing insights as well as a passion for success."
"He has made his home in Queensland with his family and naturally we are very pleased to welcome him back into the fold at Queensland Cricket."