Former captain Ian Chappell has accused Australia coach Darren Lehmann of hypocrisy in attacking England’s Stuart Broad for “blatant cheating” during this season’s first Ashes Test.
Lehmann’s comments in an Australian radio interview saw him fined 20 per cent of his match in the ongoing fifth and final Ashes Test at The Oval.
The 27-year-old Broad angered Australia during England’s narrow 14-run first Test win at Trent Bridge when he refused to walk after a thick edge deflected off the wicketkeeper’s gloves to slip.
Victory sent England on their way to taking an unbeatable 3-0 series lead in the Ashes.
Chappell said Australians, who’ve traditionally always waited for the umpire’s decision, were in no position to complain about opponents who did exactly the same thing.
I don't like to be called a cheat and basically he (Lehmann) is calling all people who don't walk a cheat, which would include himself... it's pretty hypocritical for an Australian to complain about somebody not walking.
“I don’t like to be called a cheat and basically he (Lehmann) is calling all people who don’t walk a cheat, which would include himself,” Chappell told BBC Radio Five on Friday.
“‘Cheat’ is not a word you should use very light-heartedly, and even if you are being light-hearted that’s a word you should steer away from,” added Chappell, captain of the successful Australian side of the early to mid 1970s.
“And even when you’ve got your tongue in your cheek it’s pretty hypocritical for an Australian to complain about somebody not walking.”
After Broad defended his actions earlier this week, an unimpressed Lehmann told Australia radio station Triple M in an interview broadcast on Wednesday: “Certainly our players haven’t forgotten, they’re calling him everything under the sun as they go past.
“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,” he said.
“From my point of view I just hope the Australian public give it to him right from the word go for the whole summer (during the return series in Australia starting in November) and I hope he cries and he goes home,” Lehmann added.
“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.”
England did not initiate any disciplinary proceedings but International Cricket Council chief executive David Richardson laid a charge himself and Lehmann pleaded guilty to “publicly criticising and making inappropriate comments” about Broad, having transgressed the ICC’s code of conduct.
He accepted match referee Roshan Mahanama’s punishment of a 20 percent fine – a figure in the region of $3,100.
Former South Africa wicketkeeper Richardson, in an ICC statement issued Thursday, said: “Whilst noting the context and nature of the comments made, showing mutual respect for one’s fellow professionals – including for coaches, players and match officials – is a cornerstone of how we play the game.”