Shane Warne to `informally’ assist Darren Lehmann

Updated: Jun 29, 2013, 11:48 AM IST

Sydney: Australian spin great Shane Warne has confirmed that he will be a part of the new coaching structure headed by Darren Lehmann, although he made it clear that his position will be more informal than a full-time capacity.

On his appointment as head coach this week following the shock sacking of Mickey Arthur, Lehmann said that he wanted to have Australian greats such as Warne around the team, particularly as they attempted to upset favourites England in the upcoming Ashes series, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.

Accepting his invitation, Warne, who has recently marked 20 years since his `Ball of the Century` to dismiss England legend Mike Gatting with his first delivery in the Ashes, said that he will always be present to help any Australian cricketer, adding that he will advise the cricketers about tactical things or bowling.

However, the legendary leg-spinner insisted that his role will be informal most of the time like chatting over a drink or meal or calling on the phone, adding that he does not need a `fancy` job title to help out in the team.

According to Warne, it can be helpful for someone inside a team to have input from an outsider as they occasionally might have a different take on things.

Meanwhile, Warne commended the appointment of his former teammate Lehmann, whose inclusion he had pushed forward in his four part `manifesto` on Australian cricket, saying that he believes that Australia has a genuine chance of reclaiming the Ashes under Lehmann`s stewardship.

Stating that `Boof` Lehmann is more a mentor than a coach, Warne further said that although Lehmann is knowledgeable about techniques, he would be teaching players about ways to approach and prepare for a game, adding that he has a great rapport with players and a good understanding of how to balance the old and new schools.

Further praising Lehmann, Warne said that the new coach has a good cricket brain and a calm way despite enduring numerous ups and downs over a lifetime in cricket, adding that Lehmann`s outlook and his love for cricket will be infectious and relax the tense atmosphere around the team.

Stating that Australia will now have cricket-specific practice sessions, which will be short, sharp and intensive, Warne said that under Lehmann, the team would have to move back to old-school preparation with the focus being on fun.