Cricket Australia CEO Nick Hockley has released a statement backing under fire national coach Justin Langer, who has been targeted with leaks and accusations that he’s contributing to player unrest.
“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.
“His efforts have restored public faith in the national team which is a side all Australian’s 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.
“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.”
Aaron Finch says the tension behind bubble life could be the reason why there have been leaks about Langer’s man management style.
There have been recent reports of Langer’s fracvtious dealings with players and Cricket Australia staff, including in a column by former CA media man Malcolm Conn in the Sydney Morning Herald on Wednesday, entitled ‘Grumpy coach: How Langer’s volatile approach is wearing Australia down.”
Conn wrote he admired Langer as a player and for playing a pivotal role in Australia’s recovery post-Sandpapergate but added ‘players are being worn down by the volatile, high-stress environment he inhabits as coach, and his folksy, clichéd motivational homilies.
“As one player told the Herald: “It becomes draining and affects everything.”
Former captain Adam Gilchrist has insisted the issues need to be sorted out or they could “derail the summer”, with an Ashes series on home turf against England later in the year.
Finch, speaking to Sydney’s Big Sports Breakfast radio show, was asked about why there were leaks coming from the Australian camp putting the coach in a bad light.
“It’s a good question, and I don’t know the answer to that,” Finch said.
“All I’ll say is when you lose, everything is magnified and everything is highlighted.
“As I mentioned with the players on tour with bubble fatigue and guys not having any escape while you’re on tour, you’re locked into cricket mode almost 24/7 because you can’t get out and go for a coffee down the road or you can’t go out for dinner somewhere else.
“You’re literally just confined to the hotel 24/7. When you’re just around cricket the whole time, that can consume you so you get a little bit of burnout from that as well. And when you’re losing that just adds multiple layers to it as well.
“As everyone knows in sport, wins and losses are what counts and unfortunately we haven’t been up to the mark in the last eight-ten months.”
Langer’s star has dipped after a Test series defeat to India and T20 series losses to West Indies and Bangladesh.
There have been reports of his involvement in a public confrontation with a Cricket Australia media staffer after a video was posted to cricket.com.au showing Bangladesh celebrating victory.
Speaking on SEN earlier this wek Gilchrist said the leaks and Langer’s position must be resolved.
“The main concern is the fact that there’s leaks getting out, because the journalists I did speak to on Friday – after they got in touch with me – were saying they’ve just got direct lines into the team. So, that’s a concern – and Justin is aware of that,” Gilchrist said.