Sport Cricket The Ashes: England’s woes are no laughing matter, Darren Lehmann says

The Ashes: England’s woes are no laughing matter, Darren Lehmann says

Darren Lehmann
Darren Lehmann is taking things very seriously. Photo: Getty
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Australia coach Darren Lehmann insists he’s not having a chuckle at England’s discipline issues, saying they’re simply not funny.

England’s Ashes tour has been marred by off-field discipline issues, with the latest incident involving fringe player Ben Duckett.

Duckett was stood down for a tour match for reportedly pouring a drink over star paceman Jimmy Anderson while the duo were out at a Perth nightclub earlier this week.

The incident is sure to give Australia more sledging material as it attempts to win back the urn with victory in the third Ashes Test at the WACA Ground, starting on Thursday.

During the opening Test win in Brisbane, Australian players sledged England wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow for his headbutt on young WA batsman Cameron Bancroft.

And England was in crisis mode even before the tour began, with all-rounder Ben Stokes arrested in September on suspicion of causing actual bodily harm for an alleged fight outside a Bristol nightclub.

With England imploding both on and off the field, Australia has the chance to secure a 5-0 Ashes whitewash, with the scoreline already reading 2-0.

But Lehmann insists he and his players aren’t sitting back and laughing at England’s misfortunes, despite the bizarre incident involving Duckett.

“No. I’ve been through all that, so no, I don’t have a chuckle at that,” Lehmann said after arriving in Perth on Sunday.

“You have those situations at various stages throughout your career. It’s not funny.

“It’s a case of actually making sure you’re trying the best you can to get your side prepared.

“For me, I don’t have a chuckle at any of that.”

Despite England’s precarious position, Lehmann said his side can’t afford to take its focus off the job at hand.

“For us, we can’t worry about what’s going on in that side,” Lehmann said.

“They’re still a very good cricket side with some dangerous players. For us, we have to be really switched on come day one in Perth.”

Lehmann says he will assess the WACA pitch in the coming days before deciding whether he needs a fourth paceman in the form of all-rounder Mitch Marsh.

If Marsh is selected, it appears certain Peter Handscomb will be axed.