We're here for cricket – Lehmann

HARARE - Australia cricket coach, Darren Lehmann has refused to be drawn into the politics of demonising Zimbabwe saying that his team is here on sporting business.

The former Australian left-hander said they were happy to be in here as to fulfil the on-coming One Day international tri-series that also includes the hosts and South Africa.

The Aussies will get the tournament in motion with a clash against the host tomorrow at Harare Sports Club.

International media reports suggested that the Australians were headed to a destination that is not safe to play cricket, reason that Lehmann dismissed as an opinion.

“We are not here to play politics,” Lehmann told reporters yesterday.

“We are here for sport, everyone is entitled to their own opinion but we are here for sport.”

The Aussies, who are the number one ranked ODI team, landed in Harare on Thursday afternoon and had their first training session at Harare Sports Club on Friday.

Australia’s captain Michael Clarke is racing against time for the opening match after picking up a hamstring injury during the first practice session.

“The chances of him playing are still 50-50 but signs are that he’s desperate to play,” added Lehmann.

“We will obviously be desperate to have the captain play as well ...but if he can’t make it we have depth in the squad so we not too concerned about that will put the best we can to win the game.

Meanwhile, Zimbabwe got a boost ahead of the series after a local clothing retail company; 4May presented the squad with some designer suits to wear during the triangular series.

Elton Chigumbura, Zimbabwe ODI captain said his charges will be aiming to bounce back from a disappointing series whitewash defeat against South Africa when they take on Australia in the opening match tomorrow.

The hosts get into the three-team ODI tournament still smarting from a 3-0 ODI series defeat against the Proteas at Queens Sports Club in Bulawayo.

“I think we just need to improve on our batting. That’s the most important aspect we need to be working on in the next two days considering how badly we batted as a team in the ended series against South Africa,” Chigumbura told the Daily News on Sunday yesterday.

Chigumbura insisted that though the time to work on the shortcomings was relatively short, still the job had to be done.

“It has to be. There’s no two ways about that and we should be able to things around when we get into our first match on Monday,” he said.

“Obviously we will be trying to win every match we play; we can’t go out there and say we want to be good losers. I think the main thing is to go out there and give it our all by making sure that we get in good position to win and come out victorious.”

Australia: Michael Clarke (c), George Bailey (vc), Ben Cutting, James Faulkner, Aaron Finch, Brad Haddin, Phil Hughes, Mitchell Johnson, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Kane Richardson, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc.

South Africa: AB de Villiers (c), Hashim Amla (vc), Kyle Abbott, Quinton de Kock, JP Duminy, Faf du Plessis, Imran Tahir, Ryan McLaren, David Miller, Morne Morkel, Wayne Parnell, Aaron Phangiso, Rilee Rossouw, Mthokozisi Shezi, Dale Steyn.

Comments (1)

Do people read this news paper? I see no comments after each story.

john - 25 August 2014

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