Australia coach Lehmann to return to side after illness

Wellington, Feb 4 (IANS) Australian cricket team’s head coach Darren Lehmann will return to the side on Saturday subsequent to being given medical clearance to return to work after he was diagnosed on January 23 with deep vein thrombosis.

The former left-handed batsman missed the final One-Day International (ODI) and the three-match Twenty20 International home series against India as well as the first ODI against hosts New Zealand due to the same illness.

Having received the OK to fly having recovered from his bout of deep vein thrombosis, Lehmann will travel to Wellington on Saturday and re-join the team that has slumped to five consecutive defeats in his absence, Cricket Australia said on Thursday.

However, Lehmann — who turns 46 on Friday — will not slip back into the role of head coach until the first Test of the two-match series against the Black Caps that begins in Wellington on February 12.

That responsibility will remain with acting coach (and team batting coach) Michael di Venuto who will oversee the team’s preparation for the final two ODIs of the Chappell-Hadlee Series at Wellington (Saturday) and Hamilton (Monday).

“Darren has received clearance from specialists in Australia to travel on Saturday and return to work,” Cricket Australia’s chief medical officer John Orchard said.

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