Born: February 5, 1970, Gawler, South Australia
Major Teams: Australia, Rajasthan Royals, South Australia, Victoria, Yorkshire
Playing Role: Top Order Batsman
Batting Style: Left Hand Bat
Bowling Style: Slow Left Arm Orthodox
A prolific run-scorer at domestic level in Australia and England, Darren Lehmann might have played more Test cricket but for the abundance of talented batsmen in Australia in the 1990s and early 2000s. As a stocky, free-scoring left-hander, Lehmann was able to treat spectators to an audacious mixture of aggression and deft finesse. Having arrived on the state cricket scene as a 17-year-old, Lehmann had played more first-class games and scored more runs than any other Australian before making his Test debut in Bangalore in 1998, although his record was later beaten by Michael Hussey. He initially struggled to hold down his Test spot but eventually bucked the trend of youth by establishing himself in the Australia side at 33 with a maiden hundred at Port-of-Spain in his tenth Test, and then two against both Bangladesh and Sri Lanka in the next 12 months. Named stand-in vice-captain for the 2004 India tour when Ricky Ponting broke his thumb, Lehmann offered to give up his place to Michael Clarke after his amazing debut century at Bangalore, and limped out of the series after the third Test with a torn hamstring. He returned for the home summer but was dropped for good after struggling against Pakistan.
Lehmann's talents won him far more regular opportunities in Australia's one-day international team and in 1999 he had the honour of hitting the winning runs in the World Cup final at Lord's. He was also a key member of the side that defended the title four years later, although his entry into the tournament was delayed by a suspension for a racist dressing-room outburst. An integral member of winning Sheffield Shield sides in 1990-91 and 1995-96 and Yorkshire's victorious County Championship team of 2001, Lehmann finished his first-class career as the highest run scorer in Sheffield Shield/Pura Cup history, with 13,635 runs at 54.97. He entered coaching via the IPL, where he was at the helm of the Deccan Chargers when they won the tournament in 2009. Lehmann was named coach of Queensland in early 2011 and quickly won the respect of the players for his straightforward approach. Under Lehmann, the Bulls won the 2011-12 Sheffield Shield and the 2012-13 Ryobi Cup. His success and popularity with his players made him an attractive candidate for higher coaching honours and Cricket Australia sprung a surprise by sacking Mickey Arthur and naming Lehmann coach of the national side less than three weeks before the start of the 2013 Ashes.