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Coach Lehmann to step down in 2019

Former Test batsman reveals he won't seek an extension beyond his current contract, which runs through until October 2019

Darren Lehmann has confirmed that he will not seek to extend his tenure as Australia's coach beyond his existing contract, which is set to run out following the next Ashes series in 2019.

Having taken over the role in 2013 in the wake of his predecessor Mickey Arthur's shock sacking, Lehmann last year signed a contract extension that runs through to October 2019.

The former Test batsman has recently spoken of the demanding nature of the job and has previously indicated 2019 would spell the likely end of his reign.

Lehmann is currently in charge of the national side in all three formats.

Australia are set for two major challenges in 2019; the one-day international World Cup in the United Kingdom and then an ensuing Ashes series abroad.

Speaking to Fox Sports, Lehmann says his time will be up following that Ashes campaign.

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"That will be it," Lehmann said when asked if he will seek a new deal beyond 2019.

"It will be a case of too much time, too much travel.

"For me, I’ve really enjoyed the role and (am) loving it.

"We’ll just get to that point and work out what we do from there."

In October, Lehmann expressed his belief that the increasing demands of the international schedule will leave "no choice" but to split the head coaching role between red and white-ball formats.

Assistant David Saker stood in for Lehmann on Austalia's limited-overs tour of India earlier this year, while Western Australia mentor Justin Langer subbed in for him for Australia's home T20 series against Sri Lanka in February.

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"I think it will get to a stage where I'll probably have to look at changing that setup," Lehmann told cricket.com.au in October.

"I know speaking to (former England coach) Andy Flower for example … he didn't like it so much, but I think the way that the game is going, you’ve got no choice now."

Lehmann felts the logical way to split the responsibility was down the lines of Test and ODI/T20I, in order to maintain some form of continuity while also alleviating the head coach of some duties in what is a punishing schedule.

He also pointed out that it is a path the players are already well down, with the end result potentially vastly different XIs for different formats.

"You can't split them three ways – Tests, one-dayers and T20 – some of the time there's no point another coach coming in, it's just logistical nightmares, so I think you'd probably go white ball, red ball.

"And cricket is really getting specialised. You can see a time when down the track … I don't know how many years but there'll be really significant changes and the XIs will be separate XI for each format or in red-ball and white-ball cricket.

"And that's happening now anyway, just because it's the only way you can keep the players on the park.

"But then you've got big tournaments which are really important to win and your best side has to be available.

"And there's always different stories, (such as) how (can) the young guys get an opportunity at the next level if you don't give them the opportunity when you get a chance?

"So there's pros and cons everywhere – it's just how you balance it out."

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Langer, who also took the head coach duties from Lehmann during a tour of the Caribbean in 2016, has been mooted a national head coach of the future and could be a contender to take over from Lehmann in 2019.

Ricky Ponting, who led Mumbai Indians to success in the Indian Premier League before getting his first taste within the Australia set-up in a coaching capacity under Langer earlier this year in the T20s against Sri Lanka, may also be in the mix.

In the same boat as Ponting (batting coach) through that short T20 series was Jason Gillespie (fast-bowling coach), who has impressed with his title-winning success at Yorkshire and is the current Adelaide Strikers coach in the KFC Big Bash League. He recently took up a post with county side Sussex.

Saker, who helped mastermind England's 2010-11 Ashes victory before returning to Australia, also looms as a potential candidate.

2017-18 International Fixtures

Magellan Ashes Series

Australia Test squad: Steve Smith (c), David Warner (vc), Cameron Bancroft, Usman Khawaja, Peter Handscomb, Shaun Marsh, Mitchell Marsh, Tim Paine (wk), Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood, Jackson Bird.

England Test squad: Joe Root (c), James Anderson (vc), Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow, Jake Ball, Gary Ballance, Stuart Broad, Alastair Cook, Mason Crane, Tom Curran, Ben Foakes, Dawid Malan, Craig Overton, Ben Stokes, Mark Stoneman, James Vince, Chris Woakes.

First Test Australia won by 10 wickets. Scorecard

Second Test Australia won by 120 runs (Day-Night). Scorecard

Third Test Australia won by an innings and 41 runs. Scorecard

Fourth Test MCG, December 26-30. Tickets

Fifth Test SCG, January 4-8 (Pink Test). Tickets

Gillette ODI Series v England

First ODI MCG, January 14. Tickets

Second ODI Gabba, January 19. Tickets

Third ODI SCG, January 21. Tickets

Fourth ODI Adelaide Oval, January 26. Tickets

Fifth ODI Perth Stadium, January 28. Tickets

Prime Minister's XI

PM's XI v England Manuka Oval, February 2. Tickets

Gillette T20 trans-Tasman Tri-Series

First T20I Australia v NZ, SCG, February 3. Tickets

Second T20I – Australia v England, Blundstone Arena, February 7. Tickets

Third T20I – Australia v England, MCG, February 10. Tickets

Fourth T20I – NZ v England, Wellington, February 14

Fifth T20I – NZ v Australia, Eden Park, February 16

Sixth T20I – NZ v England, Seddon Park, February 18

Final – TBC, Eden Park, February 21