Justin Langer blames politics for Australia exit and laughs off England links

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Justin Langer stepped down as Australia head coach earlier this year (Jason O’Brien/PA) (PA Wire)
Justin Langer stepped down as Australia head coach earlier this year (Jason O’Brien/PA) (PA Wire)

Justin Langer has opened up on the “bulls*** politics” that led to an acrimonious exit with Australia although he refused to countenance working for England.

Despite being head coach as Australia won last year’s T20 World Cup and the Ashes series that followed Down Under, Langer stepped down in February after rejecting a short-term contract extension.

Rumours persisted for months prior to his departure that some senior players were unhappy with his style of coaching but a number of Langer’s former team-mates, including Ricky Ponting, Steve Waugh, Matthew Hayden and the late Shane Warne felt the 51-year-old was mistreated by Cricket Australia.

And, in recalling a conversation he had with CA’s then interim chair Richard Freudenstein the day after he quit his post, Langer laid bare the frustrations that led to him walking away.

Speaking at a chamber of commerce event in Perth, Langer said in quotes on Cricket Australia’s website: “The first thing (Freudenstein) said to me was ‘it must make you feel so good that all your mates are supporting you in the media’.

“I said, ‘Yeah it is, acting chairman, but with all due respect, those mates are also the all-time greats of Australian cricket. They are the fabric of Australian cricket. They are Australian cricket. They also work all around the world in cricket. So yeah, I’m glad my mates are looking after me. Imagine if you had have’.

“Ironically, the last six months of my coaching career were the most enjoyable period of 12 years of coaching.

“Not only did we win everything, but I had energy and I had focus and I was happy – besides the bulls*** politics.”

 (PA Archive)
(PA Archive)

While Australia have appointed Andrew McDonald as their men’s head coach, Langer was linked with one of the two vacant posts with England, who elected to split their Test and white-ball roles.

Langer, a former opening batter who featured in 105 Tests for Australia, insisted he was uninterested in coaching his country’s fiercest cricketing rivals.

“I’ve never spoken to English cricket,” he said before adding with a shake of his head: “The thought of coaching England…mate!”

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