Sydney, Jan 19 (IANS) Former Australian captains Steve Waugh and Rickey Ponting have backed chief coach Justin Langer to continue in his post beyond his current contract, which expires in June after the team’s month-long tour of Pakistan in March-April this year.
Ponting has said that Cricket Australia (CA) should offer the 51-year-old Langer a “two-to-three-year” contract after he guided the team to its maiden ICC T20 World Cup triumph in the UAE and the 4-0 Ashes win. Waugh felt that it’s time the “rumours and innuendo” about the former Test opener’s future were put to rest.
A report in sen.com.au said on Wednesday that Langer is expected “to sit down with Cricket Australia soon to learn his coaching fate”.
“People don’t seem to believe this, but the absolute truth is before the (T20) World Cup and the Ashes, we all committed to the end of the Ashes to sit down and have some conversations,” Langer told SEN on Wednesday.
“It’s been four really big years and it’s an all-encompassing job and it’s a tough gig… that’s just the truth. We all said that we’d sit down after the Ashes. So in the next little bit, I’m sure those conversations will start to be had. There’s plenty to be spoken about,” he added.
Langer, who replaced Darren Lehmann following the ball-tampering saga in South Africa in 2018, said he had an open mind about his future with the team.
“I’m never edgy (about his future). Before the World Cup and before the Ashes, we’ve never ever been better prepared. So it’s not a coincidence I don’t think that we’ve had the success that we’ve had. Whatever happens from now on, we can all be incredibly proud of this little period. We had two missions: To win the World Cup and to win the Ashes.
“To do that in such a short period is a monumental effort and we’re all really satisfied with that, we’re all really happy about that, we’re all really, really proud of that. I sit here at the moment feeling really content with the last two series.”
Langer has reportedly not enjoyed the best of relations with his players and things came to a head after the T20I series loss against Bangladesh in August last year when Cricket Australia (CA) top bosses and the leadership group in the team defused the crisis after long discussions. CA also issued a statement in support of the former opener and reiterated that the ICC T20 World Cup and The Ashes were integral to Langer’s long-term future.
Recently, Australian Test skipper Pat Cummins, when asked about Langer’s continuity after his contract expires in June 2022, was non-committal, saying he would rather “savour” the Ashes victory than get into the discussion.
Cricket Australia (CA) chief executive Nick Hockley too has refused to get into the issue of whether Langer will get a contract extension once it expires after the month-long series against Pakistan in March-April, though he added that the former player will serve out his term.