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Boof denies moving Clarke "down the food chain"

Cricket

Darren Lehmann has denied claims by former Test skipper Michael Clarke that he craves more power as Australian cricket coach.

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Among several revelations in his new autobiography, Clarke said he felt Lehmann wanted “to shake things up and run the team his way” since being handed the national reins before the 2013 Ashes series.

“Darren Lehmann is coming from a system in Queensland where the coach runs the show,” Clarke writes in his book My Story of ex-Bulls mentor Lehmann.

“And that is what he demands when he takes the Australian job.

“I was not expecting to be moved down the food chain, halfway through my captaincy.

“One thing is for sure: I am no longer driving the bus”.

But Lehmann did not believe he had stepped on any toes as coach of the national team, which is now skippered by Steve Smith.

“No, I don’t think that is the case as such,” he said when told of Clarke’s claim.

“I always worked really close with Pup (Clarke) and Steven (Smith).

“At the end of the day, they are the ones in the heat of the battle out there.

“They have to have exactly what they want and need, that’s all we do as support staff – make sure they get exactly what they want and need.

“As for power…I don’t think that is the case at all, but everyone is entitled to their opinion.”

Clarke has had plenty of opinions in his new book.

Former Test opener Simon Katich has dismissed claims he and Clarke have buried the hatchet and are friends after their infamous 2009 SCG Test dressing room incident.

Unlike Katich, Lehmann said he did not have a problem with Clarke.

“It’s still good, I get on with him fine,” he said.

“The relationships between him and other people, that’s between him and other people. They have got to sort that out.”

Lehmann said he would not change his style ahead of Australia’s three-Test series against South Africa starting next week in Perth.

“All I try to do is prepare the players more and be a sounding board, you can’t make decisions out on the ground because that is the captain’s role,” he said.

“All you can do is try to give them as much information off the ground as you possibly can and away they go and the captain runs the ship.

“That’s how it’s always been when I played and is now.”

-AAP

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