Having taken over since then as the head coach of Australia, former left-hand opening batsman Justin Langer still feels the pain and has angst for the infamous ball-tampering incident that played out earlier this year.
In March 2018, Cricket Australia banned Steve Smith, David Warner for one year and Cameron Bancroft for a period of 9 months, after the trio was found out guilty of the offense where they were deliberately trying to alter the condition of the ball during the Cape Town Test against South Africa using a piece of sandpaper.
The incident raised allegations and doubts about the moral and ethical values of the kind of culture that Australian Cricket seems to have developed over the years.
This is when the earlier head coach Darren Lehmann resigned from his position despite his contract not expiring till the completion of Ashes 2019.
Langer went back in time and talked about how the incident shocked him to the core and left him shattered.
"I flicked the telly on … and all I can see is this hand with something, which was obviously sandpaper, and I recognise the hand because Cam Bancroft has got really big hands,” he said recently and added, "Cameron Bancroft is like one of my sons. I said to Gracie (daughter) just pray that isn’t Cameron and she said what do you mean and I said just pray. I was angry, I was sad, I was sad for Cameron and Australian cricket and I just knew it was going to have a big impact."
On David Warner, who stated at the time that he is "resigned to the fact that he might never get to play for Australia again", Langer said, “I think back to what I saw in South Africa and I see Davey Warner leading up to it and he just seemed at that time so angry … and that doesn’t make sense,”
“I can’t wait to have my first sit down with Davey and just ask him what led to that point mate where you seemed so grumpy with life. Because we’ve just got to keep reminding ourselves how much we love the game,” he added.
Langer has now been with the side since then on limited overs tours to United Kingdom and Zimbabwe and he says, while there is a cultural review going on in the system, Australia will continue to sledge the opposition.
He said, “I think one of the things that’s really important is that we keep looking to earn respect, To me respect is worth more than all the gold in the world. We must earn respect on and off the field." adding, “Another thing we did in Western Australia … was we looked to encourage great cricketers and great Australians. That’s a really important foundation for us. It’s about being good citizens and good cricketers.”
Australia plays 2 Test and 3 T20Is against Pakistan in United Arab Emirates starting October 7.
(Inputs from news.com.au)