Cricket

Justin Langer resigns as Australian cricket coach after CA board meeting | Australia cricket team

Justin Langer has ended six months of speculation over his role with the Australian men’s cricket team by stepping down as head coach, as former Test captain Ricky Ponting slammed the treatment of his ex-teammate of “embarrassing”.

The uncertainty, which has swirled around Langer’s future since last August, remained after a lengthy Cricket Australia board meeting on Friday in which his role was the subject of “significant discussion”. After the seven-hour meeting, the CA board failed to reach a resolution.

But on Saturday morning, Langer took the decision out of CA’s hands, with its management issuing a statement on social media to announce that their client would step down immediately.

“DSEG confirms that our client Justin Langer has tendered his resignation as manager of the Australian men’s cricket team this morning,” the statement read. “The resignation follows a meeting with Cricket Australia last night. The resignation is effective immediately.

Langer’s contract was due to expire in June and despite his recent success on the pitch – a T20 World Cup triumph and the Ashes’ 4-0 thrashing against England – Langer’s old-fashioned direct management style was under attack. surveillance since a meeting between senior players and CA CEO Nick Hockley last August.

“The contract extension offered to Justin was the result of a thorough review process that assessed many factors, including the future needs of the team and the extended fixture schedule ahead. This included the opportunity to defend the T20 World Cup title in Australia at the end of this year,” Hockley said in a statement. “We are understandably disappointed that Justin has decided not to continue as a manager, but we respect his decision and We wish him all the best for the future.”

Langer’s immediate future is unclear but Andrew Strauss, the England team’s new caretaker manager, has given credence to rumors linking Langer to his newly vacant England job. Strauss has taken over as temporary managing director of English cricket, after Ashley Giles stepped down this week following the Ashes debacle.

Andrew Strauss said on Friday that
Andrew Strauss said on Friday that “he wouldn’t rule out” Justin Langer as England caretaker manager. Photography: Charlie Crowhurst – ECB/BCE/Getty Images

Speaking hours before Langer left his current role, Strauss said he would “not rule him out” as an option to replace departing Chris Silverwood. The former England fly-half also made it clear he was watching the situation unfold in Australia with interest.

Strauss and Langer share a close relationship, having played together at Middlesex. “I know him well and on the surface he has done a very good job with this Australian cricket team so I wouldn’t rule him out. [for the coaching job]”, said Strauss. He added, however, “I’m sure there are many others too.”

On a day when batting coach Graham Thorpe became the third person to follow the Ashes, Strauss added: “I personally think someone with an outside view who can check and challenge thoughts in the locker room is a healthy thing. .”

Ponting claimed it was clear Langer had been pushed by Cricket Australia given he wanted to continue in the role.

“It has been a really poor six months with the way Cricket Australia has handled some of the best people in Australian cricket. Those being Justin Langer and Tim Paine [at the start of the summer]“Ponting told ABC. “I think the way they handled those two cases was almost embarrassing.”

Ponting admitted he was disappointed that Pat Cummins had not publicly backed the coach, but said he understood the captain was in a difficult situation. Ponting claimed it was a “very small group” of players and other support staff who grew tired of Langer’s intense style, prompting his departure.

“It was enough to force a man who put his life, heart and soul into Australian cricket, [someone who has] did a sensational job of overturning the culture and the way the Australian cricket team has been viewed over the last three or four years. I actually think it’s a really sad day for Australian cricket.

Ponting’s comments come after former coach John Buchanan blasted CA’s treatment of Langer on Friday night after a seven-hour board meeting ended with them wanting to talk to him further. “I just think Cricket Australia really suspended Justin, and whether they renamed him or not, it just became a real saga and I really don’t understand why it has to be,” Buchanan told 4BC radio.

“When he arrived he was asked to do two things and that was to fix the culture of the team, to make the Australian cricket team a friendly team again. Play hard, play fair and win some matches. It just seems like a drama that didn’t need to happen. It’s a very tough job but one that he demonstrated for about four years and handled very well.

Langer’s resignation leaves the board little time to find a replacement before the team leaves for a tour of Pakistan in less than a month. Andrew McDonald is expected to take over in the interim, having coached the team on white-ball tours in Langer’s absence. McDonald is also the favorite to take on the role full-time with Trevor Bayliss and Jason Gillespie the other most likely candidates.

Langer’s winning record of 55.5% in Test cricket is second only to Buchanan among any Australian manager. He also led the Ashes’ first Australian retention in England in 18 years in 2019, before convincingly winning the series in the summer, as well as winning a maiden T20 World Cup title.