CHEERS: Withcott Hotel owner Neil Simpson has a chat to Darren Lehmann. The former Australian cricket player and coach was the guest speaker at a luncheon held at the hotel on Friday.
CHEERS: Withcott Hotel owner Neil Simpson has a chat to Darren Lehmann. The former Australian cricket player and coach was the guest speaker at a luncheon held at the hotel on Friday. Lachlan McIvor

Darren Lehmann won't rush back into pressure cooker

DARREN Lehmann knows better than most what it takes to successfully travel down what can sometimes be a rocky road from country cricketer to international player.

The two-time World Cup winner has been moulding the next generation of stars at the Bupa National Cricket Centre in Brisbane since he stepped down from his post as coach of the Australian side following the ball-tampering scandal in March.

He is in no rush to return to coaching and the 48-year-old will be out of the pressure cooker this summer, picking up a gig as a commentator for Macquarie Sports Radio.

Mr Lehmann feels like it is just a matter of time before he returns to the dugout, but doubts he will ever take on the top job again.

"I want to get back into coaching but again the time's got to be right and the job has got to be right," Mr Lehmann said.

"I'm just going to enjoy a break now and then get back into it.

"(Coaching) an IPL or a BBL (side) would be fantastic. I don't think I'll go the full hog again because it was very tiring to do. It was great fun, I loved it and I miss the job every day but it was quite tiring."

A couple of knee operations means he might not be moving as quickly as he once did out on the field, but he is getting great joy out of guiding young players with their whole career ahead of them.

"I was lucky enough to (play for Australia)," he said.

"It's good just to help them out and give back to the game. For them, the world's their oyster."

Just as Andy Bichel put Laidley on the map, Mr Lehmann emerged out of rural Barosssa Valley in South Australia to make a name for himself at state level before going on to represent Australia.

While he himself had some bumps in the road along the way, he believed any country cricketers with aspirations of playing at the top level need to get out of their comfort zone and test themselves.

"I suppose the biggest challenge is always when you come from the country to go to the city and play," Mr Lehmann said.

"But if they're good enough, they should go and do it.

"A bit of advice would be enjoy the challenge. You can always come back to the place you love.

"But it's also a good challenge. You're sort of away from the safety net."

Mr Lehmann was speaking at a fundraiser luncheon at the Withcott Hotel on Friday, which was attended by close to 100 people and raised $2385 in aid of the Withcott Rural Fire Brigade.

 



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