Darren Lehmann flies 3000km against all odds to hand his son Jake Lehmann Redbacks baggy red cap on his First-Class debut

They say a father will do anything for his son; something similar was done by Australia’s coach Darren Lehmann. He overcame a delayed flight, a missed connection and more than 3,000 km of travel in just six hours to watch son, Jake Lehmann made his First-Class debut for South Australia on Thursday.

Just a day after Australia’s 275-run win over Afghanistan in Perth, Lehmann was at Gliderol Stadium in Adelaide to present his son with his West End Redbacks baggy red cap. The all-time leading run scorer in Australian domestic cricket (13,635 runs) only made it to the match. He had been told of his son’s selection on Wednesday morning and hastily made plans to fly to Adelaide after the match in Perth.

A flight delay meant he couldn’t leave Perth until around 1:30am local time, because of which he missed the connection from Melbourne to Adelaide. Thankfully, he managed to board a later flight and arrived at the ground in the beachside suburb of Glenelg just minutes before play was due to start.

The senior Lehmann was still in his Australian tracksuit when he handed the cap to Lehmann Jr. “It was a very memorable moment. He’s done all the hard work and he deserves the opportunity so now it’s up to him to do the rest,” told Darren to Cricket Australia website.

“I’m proud for the whole family. It’s all the hard work he’s put in. I’m very proud and excited for him. He’s got a career ahead and now it’s up to him to make the most of it,” he further added.

He is hopeful of seeing Jake bat at some stage in the match. He missed his son take a catch in the morning session of the play on Thursday; the 22-year-old took a good catch to send Australia’s Test opener Chris Rogers for 47.

Like his father, Jake Lehmann is a left-handed batsman and left-arm orthodox bowler. He made his state debut in the Matador One-Day Cup in October, scoring 54 runs in three innings. He was called into the Redbacks squad after producing some strong performances for his grade side East Torrens, coached by his father’s former coach Wayne Bradbrook. The highlight of Jake’s grade season was an unbeaten inning of 78 in the Eastern Reds’ historic victory in the West End One Day Cup two weeks ago.

Darren had some good words for his son’s game, “He’s been getting lots of starts without pushing on and getting a big score. He’s been batting quite well and … apparently played really well in the final and he played well in the second XI as well for South Australia. So that’s how he’s got his opportunity so now it’s a case for him to enjoy it and lap up the moment and also play well.”