Justin Langer says he has taken on board the feedback from players over his coaching style, and wants to remain at the helm of the national men’s team beyond his current contract.
On the eve of his first game in charge since the Herald and The Age reported widespread dressing room dissatisfaction over his coaching style, Langer said he had until recently not been aware of any criticism from players and key figures in Cricket Australia over his performance.
Justin Langer has come in for recent criticism over his coaching style.Credit:Getty Images
In fact, he said, the reports he had received had been “overwhelmingly positive”.
But white-ball captain Aaron Finch last week said Langer had found player reviews of his methods “confronting” while praising the coach’s response to the critique.
Langer is due to come out of contract next year after taking the reins in May 2018, just months after the Australian cricket was brought to its knees by the ball tampering scandal in South Africa. He says he wants to stay in the job beyond next year.
“If the board and the CEO and high performance manager believe I’m the right person to keep leading us forward, absolutely. I absolutely love my job,” Langer said.
The feedback I’ve been given for three years has been overwhelmingly positive of the role that I’ve been able to play as a coach.
“I didn’t like losing to India in the amazing series, no one likes losing. I’m absolutely committed, I love my job, I love the Australian cricket team, I love the players and I love Australian cricket.
“They’re the things I value most in my life. Hopefully I’ve done a really good job the last three years, that’s been the feedback. Long may that continue.
“Until my contract comes up in a year’s time or beyond I’ll be doing what I always do. I’ll be working really hard to help Australian cricket become a great Australian cricket team. That we keep developing heroes because that’s what we’ve all had since we were little kids and the Australian public loves what we’re doing. That’s what we’re all about.”
Langer has been widely praised for overseeing an improvement in player behaviour but there has been discontent among players and staff over what they say is his intensity and mood swings.
Justin Langer has been at the helm for just over three years.Credit:Getty
“I haven’t changed much in twenty-odd years of being involved in Australian cricket. Some of the things I was reading was a bit confusing actually. If I’m completely honest I was really hurt by some of it,” Langer said.
“Maybe I am being a sook but in three years I hadn’t heard from the chairman , the CA board, I hadn’t heard from the two CEOs, I hadn’t heard from the high performance managers, I hadn’t heard from any of the people I work with and I certainly hadn’t heard from any of the players which has been so widely reported.
“Not once have the players or any of those people … in fact the feedback I’ve been given for three years has been overwhelmingly positive of the role that I’ve been able to play as a coach and more importantly [the place] where the team’s come [to] – and that’s what it’s about.
“I’ll take on board, just like you guys in the media. You’re all aspiring to be Richie Benaud, Wilbur Smith or Shakespeare or Mike Coward, I’m sure you’re aspiring to be the best you possibly can be. I am, the team is, the players are, and I’m looking forward to that.”
Despite recent reports of player disharmony, Langer said he was enjoying being back among his charges for the tour of the West Indies.
“We addressed some of those issues. Honestly, I left the camp feeling like Superman,” Langer said.
“It was such a great few days for us in the Gold Coast, it was brilliant.”
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