March 7, 2019 / 1:25 AM / 3 months ago

Cricket: 'Boof' back in Big Bash in return to coaching

FILE PHOTO: Australian cricket coach Darren Lehmann arrives at a hotel in Sandton, South Africa March 27, 2018. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko/File Photo

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Darren Lehmann is returning to Big Bash side Brisbane Heat in his first coaching role since resigning as Australia boss in the wake of the Cape Town ball-tampering scandal.

Lehmann returns to the Heat for a second stint as head coach, having previously led them to the 2012/13 title in the second edition of the domestic Twenty20 tournament.

“It was a wonderful experience at the time to be involved with building the Brisbane Heat at the start of the BBL, and we had plenty of fun along the way,” the 49-year-old former test batsman said in a media release.

“I am looking forward to getting to work and helping the Heat play some outstanding cricket, have some fun, and provide our fans with a great experience.”

Lehmann, who replaces the outgoing Daniel Vettori, will start the role next week.

Nicknamed ‘Boof’, Lehmann was contracted as head coach of Australia through to this year’s Ashes series but resigned in tears last March after Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft were banned for the ‘sandpaper-gate’ scandal.

Lehmann was cleared of wrongdoing by governing body Cricket Australia but carried much of the blame in the eyes of local media for failing to rein in player misconduct.

The Heat finished fifth in the 2018/19 tournament won by Melbourne Renegades.

Reporting by Ian Ransom; Editing by Nick Mulvenney

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