Stuart Broad is full of sympathy rather than schadenfreude when it comes to Australia’s outgoing coach Darren Lehmann, who called on his compatriots to hound the English paceman in 2013.
Lehmann resigned in tears prior to the start of the fourth Test between Australia and South Africa, confirming it will be his final game in charge.
Lehmann made the decision shortly after watching sacked skipper Steve Smith repeatedly break down during a press conference at Sydney airport.
Smith was overcome with regret and shame caused by the ball-tampering scandal, which rocked the cricketing world and triggered nationwide outrage in Australia.
Lehmann’s emotional press conference was in sharp contrast to a tongue-in-cheek interview with a radio station in 2013, when he called on the Australian public to “give it to” Broad during the 2013-14 Ashes.
“I hope he cries and he goes home,” Lehmann said at the time, still fuming about the fact Broad failed to walk at Trent Bridge after edging the ball to first slip.
Broad took no delight in the end of Lehmann’s tenure.
“When he resigned from his post as head coach last week, my Twitter notifications were very busy with interest,” Broad wrote in The Daily Mail.
“He was the one who said Australia should give it to me and send me home in tears from the 2013-14 Ashes, which was poor at the time and crass.
“I want to say not one bit of me wants to see him or any player or coach in that sort of state. To see him talking about his family was really tough.”
Broad noted “there’s no way you can defend” the antics of Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft, but he still feels “for them as people”.
“All the guys involved have said they made mistakes and now they just have to accept the punishments that have been served up to them,” he wrote.
Meanwhile, Cricket Australia board member Mark Taylor has floated the idea of a formal sledging ban.
“You are not going to stop people talking out on the field. Talking is one thing,” former skipper Taylor said on the Nine Network.
“Abusing, sledging, bullying, verbalising. Whatever you want to call it is another thing. It’s gone too far and we said that three weeks ago.
“That (a motion to ban sledging) may or may not happen at a board meeting in three weeks.”
Taylor also criticised the International Cricket Council for not doing more to crack down on poor behaviour.