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Lehmann signs up for Leeds coaching gig

By AAP Newswire

Former Australia coach Darren Lehmann has signed up as a head coach for the Leeds-based team in next year's inaugural edition of The Hundred.

The news marks a return to Headingley for Lehmann, who is arguably the most beloved overseas player in Yorkshire's history.

Rumoured to be called 'Northern Superchargers', the franchise will represent Yorkshire and Durham in the eight-team tournament.

Lehmann resigned from his job with Australia in the aftermath of the 2018 ball-tampering scandal and, having already agreed to take over at Brisbane Heat in this year's Big Bash League, is delighted to continue his comeback on familiar stomping ground.

"It's great to be back. I hoped I'd get the chance when I heard about it and I'm so excited the opportunity came along," Lehmann said.

"It was a great experience of my career to play here, where the passion for the game is second to none. The connection is strong, I have so many family and friends around and I was lucky enough to be involved in ending Yorkshire's long wait for a county championship win in 2001."

Lehmann is also looking forward to experiencing a new spin on cricket and believes the 100-ball concept may end up on the international calendar if it proves a hit with English fans.

"It's an interesting format, family friendly, and it's about trying to get different people back into the game," the 49-year-old said.

"It will be explosive, I think we'll see new innovations and players going pretty hard from the start. As a coach I'm looking forward to seeing how it plays out.

"If we make a success of it then it probably will be played internationally. I think at different times we'll see it in different nations and I can see it going ahead if that's what the countries want."

Of the five men's coaches to be announced, four are Australian, Lehmann going up against compatriots Shane Warne, Simon Katich and Andrew McDonald as well as South African Gary Kirsten.

Australia's Test side make their own long-awaited return to Headingley for the third Ashes Test this week, but Lehmann has no regrets about moving on even as the protagonists in the sandpaper conspiracy - David Warner, Steve Smith and Cameron Bancroft - continue their international careers.

"I'm just looking forward to watching them play. The game has moved on and people have got to move on as well, I'm glad those guys are playing their part in a great contest between Australia and England. It's been an enthralling series and it's great to see it continue at Headingley," he said.