Lehmann may stand down for Clarke - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Lehmann may stand down for Clarke

By Will Swanton 12/10/2004 06:33:14 PM Comments (0)

Veteran batsman Darren Lehmann has made the stunning admission that he will consider standing down from the third Test to allow youngster Michael Clarke to keep his place in the Australian team.

Clarke's 151 on debut at Bangalore last week, and the return of captain Ricky Ponting after this week's second Test, means one of the current top six will have to be dropped and 34-year-old Lehmann says he may save the selectors from making an impossible decision.

"It's really early, obviously, only one Test in, but I would think he's a bloke who could captain Australian in the future. If it is me that has to go, that's fine," Lehmann said before Australian training.

"It might be the case that I do stand down. I haven't ruled that out. That's something I'll think about and talk about after this Test match.

"If I was a selector, which I am not, I would think that Michael Clarke should play every Test for the next 10 years or 12 years.

"Ricky comes back for the third Test. It is part of life. You don't worry about it too much. If a guy plays a genius knock like that in the first innings of his first Test and is earmarked by all of us to play well, you have to let him in at that stage.

"I have always said I would not stand in the road of a young player."

Lehmann, who earns $15,000 per Test and about $650,000 a year from his Cricket Australia contract, denied relinquishing his place - possibly ending his career at the highest level - would be an incredibly generous move in an era of professional sport where most athletes take a dog-eat-dog approach.

"It's not a generous decision at all," he said.

"It's just a decision that sometimes has to be made by someone. Sometimes you have to make the decision for them (the selectors) because it's a lot harder for them to make.

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