Cricket Australia (CA) insists Justin Langer is the right person to lead the men’s national team this summer, but will not commit to re-signing him before the end of the Ashes series next year.
- CA chief executive Nick Hockley says there is “ample time” before Justin Langer’s contract runs out next year
- Langer’s position as Australian men’s coach has been under increasing threat, but Hockley says he is safe for the summer
- T20 and ODI captain Aaron Finch says the Australian team has moved on and is focussed on winning the T20 World Cup
Langer’s position as coach has been under scrutiny in recent months following several reports of player unrest, which forced former CA chairman Earl Eddings and on-field leaders Tim Paine, Aaron Finch and Pat Cummins to meet to discuss the issues.
CA chief executive Nick Hockley told ABC’s National Grandstand program that Langer’s future will only be considered after the summer, which includes the T20 World Cup and Ashes.
“We just really want to focus on these two campaigns,” he said.
“His contract finishes in the middle of next year, so we’ve got ample time after the end of the Ashes to run a proper process about what the leadership looks like, going forward
“That’s the process that we’re preparing for as we speak, but I think in many ways, it is all about making sure that we’re really focused on these two critical upcoming campaigns.”
Hockley said he had been heartened by discussions with the leadership of the country’s white and red ball teams following the tours of the West Indies and Bangladesh.
“We had some really, really direct and honest conversations between the whole leadership group — so that’s Justin, that’s his assistant coaches and that’s the leadership group amongst the players,” Hockley said.
“I’m really, really excited by the clarity and the leadership all of that crucial leadership group has shown through the discussions that we’ve had in preparation for what are two absolutely massive campaigns.”
It was a sentiment echoed by T20 and one day international captain Finch, who will lead Australia in the World Cup this month.
“Over the last couple of weeks, we’ve had some great chats as a leadership group, as a coaching staff,” Finch said.
“There’s no doubt a time when it wasn’t ideal leading into [the World Cup] but there never is a good time for feedback.
“We move on pretty quick. It’s all about improving Australian cricket and giving us the best opportunity to win.
Discussions around Langer’s future will continue all summer
The speculation around Langer and his place as coach will continue until a decision is made, according to former Australian T20 player Dirk Nannes.
While it appears Langer will coach Australia at the Ashes, Nannes said CA should have replaced the coach ahead of the summer.
“I don’t think they’ve [CA] handled it well. You’ve got able people around him who can pick up the load and if a guy’s disruptive in the change room, it’s pretty easy to get to remove him,” Nannes said.
“You often see coaches get flicked because of team bad performance, not necessarily the coach or just a bad run of luck.
“This is pretty stark here that there’s a coach that’s upsetting the applecart a little bit. And with so many able replacements around, it’s probably an easy decision to have him stand aside and put someone else in place.”