Ben Duckett’s England Suspension not a Laughing Matter for Australia

Australia coach Darren Lehmann insists he is not amused by England’s discipline issues following the suspension of fringe player Ben Duckett for reportedly pouring a beer over senior teammate James Anderson.

Duckett was stood down for a tour match following an alcohol-related incident while members of England’s tour squad were out at a Perth nightclub earlier this week.

The incident is sure to give Australia more sledging material as they attempt to win back the urn with victory in the third Ashes Test at the WACA ground, starting on Thursday.

During the opening Test win in Brisbane, Australian players sledged England wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow for his headbutt on young Western Australia batsman Cameron Bancroft.

And England was in crisis mode even before the tour began, with all-rounder Ben Stokes arrested in September on suspicion of causing actual bodily harm for an alleged fight outside a Bristol nightclub.

With England imploding both on and off the field, Australia has the chance to secure a 5-0 Ashes whitewash, with the series scoreline already reading 2-0.

But Lehmann says he and his players are not sitting back and laughing at England’s misfortunes, despite the bizarre incident involving Duckett.

“No. I’ve been through all that, so no, I don’t have a chuckle at that,” Lehmann said after arriving in Perth on Sunday.

“You have those situations at various stages throughout your career. It’s not funny.

“It’s a case of actually making sure you’re trying the best you can to get your side prepared. For me, I don’t have a chuckle at any of that.”

Darren Lehmann at an Australia training session at Adelaide Oval before the start of the second Ashes Test.

Despite England’s precarious position, Lehmann says his side cannot afford to take their focus off the job at hand.

“For us, we can’t worry about what’s going on in that side,” he said.

“They’re still a very good cricket side with some dangerous players. For us, we have to be really switched on come day one in Perth.”

Lehmann says he will assess the WACA pitch in the coming days before deciding whether he needs a fourth paceman in the form of allrounder Mitch Marsh.

If Marsh is selected, it appears certain Peter Handscomb will be axed.

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