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Australia v New Zealand Test cricket series: Australia coach Darren Lehmann eyes 2019 swansong

Darren Lehmann says he cannot see himself coaching Australia beyond the 2019 Ashes, after the deep vein thrombosis health scare that he says prompted a "reality check".

Lehmann, who took over from Mickey Arthur in 2013, has been reluctant to set an end date to his tenure but believes four to six years is the shelf life for someone performing his role.

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In an interview with Fairfax Media, the World Cup-winning coach also described how the episode forced a re-think of his diet and lifestyle, including a reduction in alcohol, and even led to changes in his coaching style.

Lehmann has been back in the job full time for just over a week now after spending more than a fortnight recovering from DVT. 

Defending the World Cup in England in 2019 remains on the agenda, so too winning an Ashes series away, which he describes as "unfinished business", but for the first time he has set a possible end date.

"I think a shelf life if you have success is four to six years," Lehmann said of the job that requires him to be away from home for 300 days a year.

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There will be no topping of John Buchanan, who did the role for eight years between 1999-2007.

"I don't think you could do that now; the job's gotten bigger and bigger," Lehmann said.

"You're travelling that much now and you don't get a break because you normally don't get injured. You're on the road the whole time.

"If I got to 2019 that'd be six years. I couldn't see myself going past that at all. I think my wife would kill me if I went past that."

Lehmann, who is contracted until June 2017, acknowledges the Cricket Australia board will also have their say.

"We've got to win a lot of cricket games for me to do that – if we don't and the board change that's well within their right," Lehmann said.

Despite the long periods away from home, Lehmann says he still loves the job but realised the need for change.

"It's like everything you get with those difficult situations, you get a reality check," he said.

"You take stock of where you want to get to and what you want to do and all those sorts of things.

"It's really just making sure you live a better lifestyle [rather] than sitting in bars – and having conversations over water or peppermint tea.

"Travelling lifestyle is not easy. Home-cooked food is our biggest challenge.

"Just trying to work through those issues with dietary and the regime of travelling day in, day out. But I feel good, it's just one of those things that happens."

Lehmann, 46, remains on medication and must wear a compression stocking each day, though he is allowed to take it off at night, and on both legs when flying.

"You get used to it now, it's like a different leg," Lehmann said.

Lehmann, who has mourned the losses of David Hookes and Phil Hughes in his playing and coaching career, said he no longer gets stressed after the health scare.

He is also trying to smile more on camera after being pulled up by his wife for his on-screen demeanour after a loss in England last year.

"I try and go with the flow a bit more, I get grumpy still if we do something wrong or I fly off the handle but I'm not too bad in the other essences," Lehmann said.

"It gave me a wake-up call to really trust the people we've got working.

"I let them do their job. I don't micro-manage them. Like you trust your players, you have to trust your staff."

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