What was supposedly a light-hearted banter is now turning into a full-fledged war of words and interestingly, it's not an England versus Australia battle. Former Australian legend Ian Chappell has slammed country-mate and current Aussie coach Darren Lehmann for calling England's Stuart Broad a "cheat". In an interview to the Triple M station, Lehmann had criticized Broad for not 'walking' during the first Ashes at Trent Bridge.
Chappell was reacting to some explosive comments made by Lehmann to the Australian radio station. The 27-year-old Broad angered Australia during England's narrow 14-run first Test win at Trent Bridge when he refused to walk after a thick edge deflected off the wicketkeeper's gloves to slip.
Lehmann slammed Broad for "blatant cheating" and went on to tell the radio station: "Certainly our players haven't forgotten, they're calling him everything under the sun as they go past. I hope the Australian public are the same because that was just blatant cheating. I don't advocate walking but when you hit it to first slip it's pretty hard." Read: Holding calls for ban on Broad
"From my point of view I just hope the Australian public give it to him right from the word go for the whole summer (during the return series in Australia starting in November) and I hope he cries and he goes home," Lehmann added.
Even if the radio station called it light-hearted, Chappell was certainly not amused with Lehmann's outburst. "I don't like to be called a cheat and basically he's calling all people who don't walk a cheat, which would include himself," the 69-year-old told BBC Radio 5 Live.
"Cheat is not a word you should use very light-heartedly, and even if you are being light-hearted that's a word you should steer away from. And even when you've got your tongue in your cheek it's pretty hypocritical for an Australian to complain about somebody not walking," said Chappell.
The ICC, on Thursday, fined Lehmann 20 per cent (around 2000 Pounds) of his match fees for the fifth Test at The Oval. In a statement on its website, Triple M said: "Aussie cricket coach Darren 'Boof' Lehmann has been fined after labelling English cricketer Stuart Broad a cheat on Triple M. Triple M can't let Boof take all the blame for something that happened on our station. He's a mate and a great bloke and we'll be coughing up the match fine on his behalf."
Lehmann can perhaps consider himself fortunate not to have been hit with a heftier sanction.