Ashes boycott unlikely to happen says Australia coach Darren Lehmann

18 May 2017 02:24

Darren Lehmann is adamant Australia's ongoing pay dispute will not lead to some of their top stars boycotting the Ashes.

Cricket Australia are seeking to replace the existing revenue-sharing model with new contracts as part of a wider restructure of remuneration throughout the game - a move that has left senior players unimpressed.

Vice-captain David Warner has been one of the leading dissenters and warned Australia "might not have a team for the Ashes" after hinting the players would go on strike.

Lehmann finds himself in the middle of the dispute as he used to be chairman of the Australian Cricketers' Association - the organisation his current employers CA are at loggerheads with - but does not expect this winter's battle with England to be affected.

"No, I wouldn't think so. And I'd hope not as a fan. I'm sure that won't happen," Lehmann said at a press conference, published by the Sydney Morning Herald, ahead of Australia's departure to England for next month's Champions Trophy.

"I have my views but I'm not going to share it. I'm literally talking to both players and CA.

"I think both parties have just got to get talking. That's what they've got to do. They'll get a deal done and once that happens, everyone will be right and we'll move forward and get the game going the way it should be.

"It's just about communication and getting the right outcome for both parties, that's going to be key."

While Lehmann does not think the Ashes will be under threat, he does concede that Australia's preparations for the 50-over tournament in England could be prone to distraction.

They play their first warm-up game against Sri Lanka on May 26 and Lehmann wants his side to focus on events on the field.

"For us it's about concentrating on the game," he added. "There's going to be discussions, that's the natural way from a players' point of view and CA's point of view. And it's playing out in the media as we know.

"For us we can just concentrate on getting ready for cricket and we've got our guys, some in India, some in England, some here. Once we all get together we'll talk about it and move forward."

Source: PA