Ashes: Aussie coach Lehmann in Stuart Broad 'cheat' rant
Tensions mount as Australian fans urged to make England all-rounder 'cry' this winter
ENGLAND go into the final Ashes Test at the Kia Oval today hoping to humiliate the Australian tourists and finish the summer with a 4-0 series win.
But although the rubber is already settled passions are still running high. Australia coach Darren Lehmann has lit the fuse ahead of the return series at the end of the year with some incendiary comments about England all-rounder Stuart Broad, whom he has accused of cheating.
Lehmann, a former Aussie Test player, is obviously still furious about an incident in the first Test at Trent Bridge when Broad edged a ball which bounced off the wicketkeeper's gloves and was caught at first slip. Broad refused to walk and was given not out by the umpire.
Lehmann told a radio station that he hoped angry Australian fans would reduce Broad to tears over the winter. "Certainly our players haven't forgotten, they're calling him everything under the sun as they go past," he said during what was supposed to be a light-hearted interview.
"I hope the Australian public are the same because that was just blatant cheating. I don't advocate walking but when you hit it to first slip it's pretty hard.
"From my point of view I just hope the Australian public give it to him right from the word go for the whole summer and I hope he cries and he goes home. I just hope everyone gets stuck into him because the way he's carried on and the way he's commented in public about it is ridiculous.
"He hit it to first slip ... and the biggest problem there is the poor umpire cops all the crap that he gets in the paper and Stuart Broad makes them look like fools."
Earlier this week Broad admitted that he knew he had hit the ball, but refused to walk because of England's "win at all costs" mentality. His confession provoked anger Down Under. The Australian described him as "brazenly unrepentant" and noted that "the Australian public has loathed Broad from that moment".
Now Lehmann's comments have generated similar ill-feeling in England. Sky Sports called it an "astonishing attack" and there was a strong response on Twitter from cricket fans, some of who accused him of hypocrisy.
Hitting the ball and not walking is wrong, but walking past an opponent and "calling him everything under the sun" is ok. #Spirit
— The Cricket Geek (@TheCricketGeek) August 21, 2013
So Darren Lehmann says that Broad was "blatantly cheating" when he wasn't given out at Trent Bridge. I assumed he's said the same to Haddin?
— Jon Gill (@jpowls) August 21, 2013
Darren Lehmann's comments about Broad show how much he's rattled them. They're also hilarious and pretty desperate. Broad will love 'em.
— Ben Mitchell (@bmitchellwrites) August 21, 2013
Those comments from Darren Lehmann were pretty low. Is this what Australia have to resort to?
— Trevor Oakley (@TrevorOakley1) August 21, 2013
The row blew up after England wicketkeeper Matt Prior expressed his frustration over the amount of criticism levelled at the England team despite their Ashes triumph.
Writing in the Daily Telegraph, he said: "I have found it quite amazing that we are 3-0 up in the series and have been subjected to a lot of criticism with suggestions we have been a little lucky.
"Everyone can have their opinion but in black and white it says we have won the Ashes and that is all we are interested in. It is disappointing at times when you see the criticism but from our point of view I think we have handled it impeccably." ·