Former Australia coach Justin Langer has taken aim at the anonymous briefing that preceded his departure earlier this year, blaming “cowards” within the squad for bringing him down.
Langer departed in February after being offered only a six-month contract extension despite a hugely successful period that saw him lead his country to the T20 World Cup and the Ashes in quick succession.
By then there was a steady stream of rumours and off-the-record reports of internal dissatisfaction with his man management and methods.
Langer has since joined the Channel Seven commentary team ahead of Australia’s Test summer and does not appear ready to go quietly into the broadcast booth.
He told Code Sports he resented the circumstances of his ousting, suggesting senior players including captain Pat Cummins were to blame.
“A lot of journalists use the word ‘source’. I would say, change that word to ‘coward’,” he said.
“A coward says, not a source. Because what do you mean ‘a source says’? They’ve either got an axe to grind with someone and they won’t come and say it to your face, or they’re just leaking stuff for their own agenda.
“Everyone was being nice to my face but I was reading about this stuff and half of it…I could not believe that is what was making the papers.
“I spoke to Pat Cummins. He said to me about five times ‘this might be brutally honest’. I said ‘Pat, there is nothing brutal about your feedback. What is brutal is I’m hearing it behind my back through the media or through sources’.
“People say that I’m very intense, but they’re mistaking intensity with honesty.”
Cricket Australia chief executive Nick Hockley took issue with Langer’s comments, telling Fox Sports: “We have not commented to date other than to correct inaccuracies, of which there are a number in Justin’s comments.
“Regular formal and informal opportunities to provide and receive feedback took place throughout his tenure, which is consistent with a high-performance environment. Following a comprehensive process, Justin was offered a short-term contract extension, which he rejected.
“I am disappointed by Justin’s comments unfairly criticising some of our players. The playing group are aware they have my full support.”