Australia's Champions Trophy exit not due to pay dispute - Lehmann
Australia's failure to make it beyond the group stage of the Champions Trophy was not due to an ongoing pay dispute, believes coach Darren Lehmann.
A 40-run loss to rivals England via the DLS method at Edgbaston on Saturday sent Australia home early from the tournament after their two previous group matches against Bangladesh and New Zealand were both washed out.
Australia vice-captain David Warner had criticised the release of a Cricket Australia (CA) video in the build-up to the decisive England match as the row with the Australian Cricketers Association rumbles on.
"We're here to win and if CA want to try and help us win I think they wouldn't be releasing videos like that," Warner told reporters.
But Lehmann contradicted the fiery opener, insisting the arguments over a new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) did not contribute to his side's poor performances.
"No excuses from our point of view on the MoU," Lehmann said. "That's going on behind the scenes - it can probably come to the forefront now that we've finished. They'll get down to that and sort that out. No excuses from our end on the MoU.
"It's always there. It's the elephant in the room. It's always going to be talked about. But from a playing point of view, you're out there, surely you're not thinking about the MoU when you're batting or bowling. I wouldn't think that would have affected the players' performance at all.
"Credit to England, they bowled well, but I think we helped them a bit in the back end of our innings. We were sitting reasonably well at one stage but once you lose wickets you're always in a bit of trouble."
Australia are not in action again until England visit for the Ashes series in November, but Lehmann hit out at suggestions his side can learn lessons from the way Eoin Morgan's team brushed them aside.
"I think England and New Zealand took the way we played in the last World Cup," Lehmann said. "We played with bravery and we smashed every side, bar obviously New Zealand in Auckland.
"They're starting to take the way we played, not vice-versa. When they win a World Cup, then we can take the way they play.
"We certainly want to get back to playing brave cricket. I don't think we were brave enough or smart enough in this tournament. I would have liked us to play with a lot more freedom or bravery."