Cricket Australia CEO Nick Hockley has given his full backing to Australian head coach Justin Langer, as speculation rages over his future in the role.
A dismal showing on Australia’s recent tours against the West Indies and Bangladesh, which resulted in Langer’s troops winning just one game out of five, has amplified the oft-criticised leadership methods of the 50-year-old.
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However, Hockley maintained Langer was the perfect person for the role and won’t be going anywhere fast.
“Justin (Langer) has done an incredible job in raising the culture, values and behaviours of the Australian men’s team since he took on the role in 2018,” Hockley said in a statement.
“His efforts have restored public faith in the national team, which is a side all Australians can be incredibly proud of.
“He is contracted as head coach through to the middle of next year, with the focus now on a successful T20 World Cup campaign, followed by the home Ashes defence, in what is one of the most anticipated Series and summers of cricket in Australia for many years.
Cricket Australia CEO Nick Hockley has thrown his support behind Langer despite a recent poor run of form. Picture: Mark Evans / Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images
“Like many in the community and around the world, the team has had an extremely disruptive and challenging 18 months during the pandemic.
“Despite those challenges, the side has had great success in One-Day, Test and T20 cricket, when all players were available.
“Justin, his coaching staff and the leaders within the team have an equally important part to play in ensuring a successful summer ahead for the Australian cricket team.”
Langer took over from predecessor Darren Lehmann in the wake of the ball-tampering scandal in 2018, which saw Lehmann step down as coach, while Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft were all suspended for their respective roles in the incident.
The Perth native set about installing a new culture within the squad and oversaw a stellar job of the Australian side to retain the Ashes in 2019.
However, murmurs of discontent surrounding an overbearing management style began to seep out into the public after a disappointing series defeat to India in Australia at the start of the year.
Langer’s leadership style has come under criticism. Picture: cricket.com.auSource:Supplied
Frustration between the players and Langer came to a head during crunch talks on the Gold Coast in July when the players presented the coach with honest feedback that Aaron Finch described as “quite confronting for him (Langer) at the time”.
Despite Langer reportedly taking all the feedback on board, his supposed intimidating style of management reared its ugly head again. He was allegedly involved in a heated exchange with a Cricket Australia staffer over a video that was uploaded featuring the Bangladesh team celebrating their victory over Australia.
Finch, who captains Australia in the limited over forms of cricket, was frustrated about the constant leaks that helped to pour fuel on the flames surrounding Langer’s future.
“It’s disappointing that things are coming to the front the way they are,” Finch told SEN.
“That’s never ideal.
“It’s just one of those things that keeps popping up, which is disappointing.
“When things are being leaked out from inside, that’s not a great look.”
Langer will look to silence the critics when Australia begins its Twenty20 World Cup campaign in October.
Australia finds itself in what’s shaping up to be the “group of death”, drawn alongside the West Indies, England and South Africa.
Langer’s troops commence their T20 World Cup campaign against South Africa on October 23.
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