Aust lacking county experience: Lehmann

The rise and rise of the Indian Premier League is one of many factors that led to Australia surrendering the Ashes.

Pundits have pointed to the influence of Twenty20 cricket on a side that almost lost the third and fourth Tests in two days.

More importantly, the advent of the IPL has ensured time-poor stars are less likely to sign up for county stints.

Adam Voges and Peter Siddle had brief cameos in England prior to starting a tour of West Indies in May.

The bulk of the squad were training in Brisbane prior to flying out for the Caribbean then England.

Shane Watson, Mitchell Johnson, Mitchell Starc, Steve Smith and David Warner flew in after their IPL commitments ended.

Darren Lehmann is no stranger to the county system, having become a Yorkshire legend when he guided the club to the 2001 championship title – their first since 1968.

Lehmann learned much about the Dukes ball and English pitches.

“It was a great experience for me,” he said.

“It’s very hard in the schedule now to fit that in for bowlers.

“That’s probably the hardest thing and that’s something we have to look at as a whole cricketing body – how much cricket’s being played.

“That’s a different discussion point.”

Chris Rogers is the shining example of how valuable it can be.

Rogers is 37, having scored many of his 24,417 first-class runs in England.

The opener has been Australia’s leading run-scorer in their unsuccessful Ashes campaign, but also a mentor to his teammates.

“The advantage you have when you play county cricket is you learn all the conditions,” Lehmann said.

“Even something like travel, changerooms, hotels – all those things around the place.

“We’d love to do that and we still try and do that.

“With the advent of IPL etc … you lose a bit of that county experience.”

Incoming skipper Smith admitted pre-series it was a regret of his.

“I’d have loved to play county cricket,” Smith said.

“I still would like to at some point in my career, I think it’s great playing over here.”

Australia’s longest-serving captain Allan Border agreed it was something to look at.

“We’ve got to coach our young blokes to come over here and play league cricket and county cricket,” Border told

Rogers, speaking after he was the only batsman to stand up in a first-innings collapse at Edgbaston, pointed to his county experience.

“Maybe that counts for a lot. The other guys probably just don’t know the conditions as well,” he said.

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