Five contenders to replace outgoing Australia coach Lehmann

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Darren Lehmann Ricky Ponting Justin Langer Jason Gillispie Brad Haddin

SYDNEY: With the announcement of the departure of Australia cricket coach Darren Lehmann, the hunt is on for who might replace him to lead the scandal-hit team.

At a tearful press conference Lehmann, who has been cleared of any role in the ball-tampering incident, said he would leave the job at the end of the ongoing Test series in South Africa.

Here are five people who might take his place:

Justin Langer

The former Test opening batsman has for some time been seen as a possible replacement for Lehmann, through his work as coach of Western Australia and the Perth Scorchers.

He filled in for Lehmann on a one-day tour of the Caribbean in 2016 and led the Twenty20 side at home against Sri Lanka last year when the series clashed with the Test tour of India.

As a tough batsman who averaged 45.27 in 105 Tests, Langer was noted for his bravery and fastidious preparation and has made it clear he wants his teams to be strong but fair and play in the right spirit.

He is seen as a man who understands the different personalities in a team and can extract the best out of a player, while also pulling anyone into line.

Ricky Ponting

The former decorated Australia Test captain and the nation’s all-time leading run-scorer has been reluctant to spend time away from his young family in recent years.

Ponting has been floated as the nation’s Twenty20 coach, having done an impressive job in a couple of short-term consultant stints, and winning an Indian Premier League title with Mumbai.

He may yet figure in a potential job-split between a red-ball coach and white-ball coach, an idea Lehmann flagged last year.

Jason Gillespie

The former Test paceman coached the Adelaide Strikers to their maiden Big Bash League T20 title earlier this year and has also served as a consultant coach for CA in the past.

Gillespie coached Yorkshire to back-to-back Division One titles in 2014 and 2015 in English county cricket in a spell where the county lost five of 76 championship fixtures.

Gillespie went close before ultimately losing to Trevor Bayliss in the race to be England’s new coach on the eve of the 2015 Ashes.

David Saker

Australia’s bowling mentor filled in as head coach during an ODI tour of India last year.

While Saker, who coached Victoria to the 2016-17 Sheffield Shield title in his only season at the helm, lacks the profile of some of the other contenders, he has previously made it clear he would one day love to take the reins.

Brad Haddin

The former Test wicketkeeper has been Australia’s fielding coach for just over six months.

Haddin may have limited coaching experience, but his skills are well regarded.

The flinty New South Welshman has also served as an assistant with Australia A sides and has worked with the country’s most promising glovemen at the National Cricket Centre in recent years.

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