Following reviews, leaked reports, crisis meetings and much speculation, Australian men’s cricket coach Justin Langer has broken his silence.
- Langer has held one-on-one discussions with players to receive feedback on his coaching style
- Former Australia captain and teammate Ricky Ponting has thrown his support behind Langer
- The viability of Langer’s position as coach follows leaked reports from players
Langer has come under increasing scrutiny from players both past and present over his intense coaching style.
Over the past week, Langer has met individually with players while in hotel quarantine in Adelaide, allowing them to provide feedback on his methods.
“We got a lot off our chests”, Langer told The West Australian newspaper.
Langer acknowledged the difficulty of the situation, but said criticism around his position as coach was purely performance-based.
“The situation at the moment is very tough, but I am confident that I will become a better coach from it,” he said.
“We have had a tough trot in recent times, but we retained the Ashes only a little while ago and were ranked number one in Test and T20 cricket not that long ago.
“[If we] Get back to winning … you won’t hear about anything else”.
Langer receives high-profile support
Former Test captain Ricky Ponting joined Usman Khawaja this week in throwing his support behind the embattled coach.
Ponting told Sydney radio station 2GB Langer was the right man to lead Australia through a busy summer that will feature both a T20 World Cup and home Ashes series.
“I know there’s been a lot of negativity the last few weeks, I really felt for Justin, I rang Justin a few times,” Ponting said.
“It sounds like the captain and some of the senior players have had some pretty direct conversation with Justin about the things they think he needs to get better at.
“But he is also the sort of bloke who seeks that sort of advice anyway. He wants to find out how he can get better and what he can do better.
“They just got back from that tough tour of the West Indies and then Bangladesh, and he was locked up in his hotel room in Adelaide and he was sort of copping it left, right and centre.
“As I made really clear to Justin, when you’re in that position in Australian sport — whether you’re a high-profile coach or a captain of a national team — if you’re not getting the results, then you’ve got to expect the negativity.”
Cricket Australia backs Langer
In recent weeks, Langer’s position as head coach has come under question following reports of player discontent and a confrontation with a digital staffer being leaked to several media outlets.
The negativity reported from within the walls of the inner sanctum prompted a public response — via a written statement — in support of Langer from Cricket Australia (CA) chief executive Nick Hockley.
The statement outlined Australia’s success in the Test format over an 18-month period.
In that period, Australia has played just one Test series, losing to an under-strength India side that featured Virat Kohli in just one of four outings.
The statement was written only hours before both Hockley and CA chairman Earl Eddings held an emergency meeting with leaders Tim Paine, Aaron Finch and Pat Cummins.
Debate around the tenability of Langer’s position as coach had intensified earlier this year following a “confronting” report from independent leadership consultant Tim Ford.