Cricket-Langer keen to continue as Australia's head coach, despite criticism

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FILE PHOTO: First T20 International - England v Australia
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SYDNEY (Reuters) - Australia coach Justin Langer said he was hurt and confused by some of the criticism he received from the players over his style of working but remains keen to lead the side and get an extension when his current contract runs out next year.

Reports of dressing-room unrest and discontent over his coaching style surfaced after Australia were beaten 2-1 in the test series at home by an injury-ravaged India in January.

The players took part in an end-of-season review with leadership consultant Tim Ford, and Australia's limited-overs captain Aaron Finch said this week that Langer had cleared the air before flying with the team to West Indies.

"I haven't changed much in twenty-odd years of being involved in Australian cricket," Langer said on the eve of Australia's Twenty20 series opener against West Indies in St Lucia.

"Some of the things I was reading were a bit confusing actually. If I'm completely honest I was really hurt by some of it. 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."

Cricket Australia appointed the former opening batsman as the head coach on a four-year contract in 2018 after Darren Lehmann stepped down in the wake of the damaging ball-tampering scandal in South Africa.

Langer said he would want to continue in his role.

"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.

"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."

Langer and his men would be keen to perform well at the Twenty20 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates and the home Ashes series against arch-rivals England starting December.

"We're not a great team yet and that's what we're all aspiring to. Like I'm aspiring to be a great coach," added the 50-year-old, who played 105 tests for Australia.

"I'm not a great coach yet, I'm aspiring to be a great coach. I'm working towards it and I hope all the players are doing the same thing."

(Reporting by Sudipto Ganguly in Mumbai; Editing by Himani Sarkar)

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