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Lot to like about Lehmann as new man in the coaching hot seat

Top player. Top coach. Top bloke. That, I think it’s fair to say, would pretty much sum up any assessment of the man now entrusted with the daunting task of plotting Australia’s Ashes cricket campaign — Darren Lehmann.

For what it’s worth, though I’ve only met “Boof” the once, I can categorically vouch for the latter.

As some of you would be aware, I’m heavily involved in a grassroots development program known as Revolver Cricket, which last year we were keen to get under the noses of as many coaches as possible.

Being Queensland-based, who better, we thought, than the former South Australian run machine who by then was already staking his claims for higher coaching honours through his stellar deeds as coach of the Queensland Bulls and Brisbane Heat.

The challenge at the time was to nail Lehmann down at the business end of a hectic 2011-12 domestic season – and before he flew out to resume coaching duties in the Indian Premier League.

Despite an encouraging response to our initial overtures, we had all but given up hope of getting to see him as Queensland’s Sheffield Shield final showdown against Tasmania loomed. But, as it transpired, we should never have doubted his capacity to deliver.

Just three days out from the start of that Gabba final  – no doubt up to his ears in the Bulls’ preparations and due to leave for India almost immediately after the final – a colleague fielded a phone call from Lehmann, inviting us around to his Brisbane home to “tell me what this Revolver Cricket’s all about”.

However Lehmann’s career might play out from here, I suspect I’ll forever regard that gesture as a measure of the man.

See “Lehmann inspiration behind Revolver Stumps’’,  www.revolvercricket.com.

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That treacherous Suncorp Stadium surface that had both State of Origin teams concerned ahead of Game 2 was certainly a major factor in the Wallabies’ drama-charged first Test loss against the British and Irish Lions … just as I predicted.

Except, of course, I was cruel enough to suggest that the oft-maligned Wallaby pack (mighty on the night) could get creamed by the Lions at scrum time.

In the event, I doubt that anyone could have come up with a script quite like the one that unfolded.

And, given the “Kurtley Calamity” at the death, I can’t resist the urge to remind you that a few weeks ago I suggested Bad Boy Beale was on skid row.

— Peter Thomson  

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