I WAS absolutely gobsmacked when I heard that Surrey coach Michael Di Venuto said he would be keen to sign one of Australia’s banned Test stars in Steve Smith, David Warner or Cameron Bancroft.
I think it is such a sensitive issue. I do think there has been an overreaction regarding the bans, but once they got the 12-month bans from Cricket Australia, I would be hugely disappointed if one of the counties – as a Yorkshire fan – employed one of those three this season.
Next season, I would have no issue with it. They will have then served their ban. But not this season.
Somerset led the way for me by getting rid of Bancroft and replacing him with Matt Renshaw. What disappointed me most about what Di Venuto said was that he actually stated that bringing in one of those three would benefit Australian cricket.
I am not bothered about benefitting Australian cricket. Why would one of our coaches in this country want to benefit their cricket with the Ashes coming up here next year?
This year, with everything that has gone on, I think it would be a bad move for a county to take them.
Justin Langer is being lined up by Australia to replace Darren Lehmann as head coach and that would be a good choice.
I had unbelievable battles with Langer throughout my whole career and he was my last first-class wicket and to finish my career by getting an Aussie opening batsman out meant I ended on a high.
He’s an unbelievably strong character and I think he will do a terrific job for Australia, even though Darren is a hard act to follow.
Darren did a great job and is a great bloke and coach.