Former head coach Langer denies rift with Australia players

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Justin Langer has rubbished talk of a rift between himself and the Australia team as he likened the players to "younger brothers".

Langer stepped down in February after overseeing Australia's first T20 World Cup triumph and an Ashes hammering of England on home soil.

The former opener has been back in the spotlight following his comments on the Back Chat podcast, accusing sources who leaked stories to the media during his reign of being "cowards" with agendas.

Langer also bemoaned a lack of honest feedback given by players while he was in charge of the team.

Cricket Australia chief executive Nick Hockley responded by expressing his disappointment with Langer for "unfairly criticising" the players.

The ex-Australia batter had his say once again in a West Australian column, stating he has not fallen out with the players.

"This rubbish dialogue of me fighting with the current team must stop. Simply because it is not true," Langer wrote.

"They are my friends. They are like my younger brothers. Anything said to the contrary is false.

"For four years we drank, ate, celebrated, strategised and lived together. We fought back from 'sandpaper gate' and Covid together and we won the T20 World Cup and Ashes together."

Langer made it clear he has no issue with captain Pat Cummins.

"For the record, I am a great admirer of Pat Cummins. Not only is he an outstanding cricketer but he is also a very good human being," he said.

"Would I have liked him to have backed me more publicly towards the end of my time as coach? Of course, I would. Who wouldn't?"

He added: "Was it always perfect? No, it wasn't? What business, what team is always perfect?

"I have never met a leader who is every single person's cup of tea. Again, that's life.

"And I accept my four years with the team had to come to an end. It's just a shame it happened like it did. But now, it's time to move on."