Former England captain Nasser Hussain is concerned Australia coach Darren Lehmann’s inflammatory comments over Stuart Broad could lead to trouble off the field for the paceman in the return Ashes series Down Under.
Lehmann accused Broad of “blatant cheating” and has urged Australian cricket fans to make sure the bowler “cries and goes home” this winter.
The 27-year-old did not walk when he nicked a ball behind in the first Test, and he has also been accused of time-wasting tactics to benefit England when they have been up against it.
The Nottinghamshire man admitted this week that he knew he had hit the ball at Trent Bridge, while speaking of England’s win-at-all-costs mentality.
That approach has not impressed Lehmann although Hussain feels the Australia coach may have overstepped the line with his comments.
“These boys go out on an evening, they don’t sit in their hotel room,” said Hussain.
“That’s more likely where Broad will have to be careful because after these words, there might be some Aussie out there that, after having a few beers on an evening, wants to have a little go at Broad.”
Tension is never far from the surface between these two sides and Hussain believes both camps will be wary of avoiding another fracas like the one earlier in the summer when David Warner was suspended from the Australia team for aiming a punch at Broad’s England team-mate Joe Root at a Birmingham bar.
“After the Warner incident, Broad will have to be very, very careful,” added Hussain, who played 96 Tests for England between 1990 and 2004.
“But these are grown men, they can look after themselves and know how to behave like England cricketers, hopefully.”
Australian cricket commentator Jim Maxwell echoed Hussain’s comments and said: “It’s incendiary to be saying those sorts of things before a series in Australia. We know what happens when the boys get loaded up with a bit of juice at home and it could turn very ugly.”
Former England spinner Phil Tufnell believes Lehmann was simply attempting to take the focus away from the problems of Australia, who are already 3-0 down.