Amidst a lot of hue and cry, Australia head coach Justin Langer has said that ball-tampering is a worldwide problem partly due to unresponsive pitches. However, he promised that it will never happen under his supervision in the Australian cricket team.
In the aftermath of the ball-tampering scandal, Darren Lehmann resigned from his position as Australian chief coach despite his contract not expiring till the completion of Ashes 2019. Subsequently, Langer was appointed as head coach in May and since then the former Test opener has been working to fix the team's behaviour and earn back respect.
"I can't understand for a single second how we took sandpaper out in the field. That doesn’t make any sense to me," Langer told Adam Gilchrist in an interview for Fox Sports on Wednesday evening.
"What I do know though is that the issue with people ball-tampering is going on internationally. That's a real worry," he added.
Australian cricket was shaken to the core after cameras had caught Cameron Bancroft using a sandpaper to alter the condition of the ball during the Cape Town Test against South Africa earlier this year.
In a shocking press conference after the day's play, former Australia skipper Steve Smith had admitted that the entire ball-tampering saga was a deliberate plan from the “leadership group” of the side. Subsequently, Cricket Australia (CA) had banned Smith and his deputy David Warner for 12 months while Bancroft was handed a 9-month suspension from international cricket.
Recently, an independent review by the Sydney-based Ethics Centre accused Cricket Australia of only paying lip service to the spirit of the game and not doing anything for the moral guidance of players.
"I think there's a couple of issues," he said. "One is I think we need to get the pitches right around the world, so the ball does move whether it spins or swings.
"But to go the point we did was a huge mistake."
The Australian coach promised that it will never happen while he is in charge.
"I remember sitting on the sofa the night it happened and as an ex-player and someone who loves the Australian cricket team, I was shocked. I was sad, I was angry," he said.
"I can promise you it won't be happening again. We've got to make Australians proud.
"There's no point winning and behaving poorly. I don't think Australians respect that. We can play hard as long as we win fair," Langer concluded.
(With AFP inputs)