Former Australia opener and head coach Justin Langer has taken aim at the anonymous sources or what he termed ‘cowards’ for leaking information to the media against him during the heated conversations between him and Cricket Australia leading up to his resignation from his job.
The 52-year-old left his job as the Australian head coach in February amidst much noise, as he failed to secure support from key players during contract talks with Cricket Australia. Disgruntled players complained anonymously to Australian media about his intense “headmaster-like” coaching style, something he still bristles about.
He was unhappy at being offered only a six-month extension despite steering Australia to T20 World Cup glory in 2021 and then a 4-0 Ashes victory over England in 2022.
“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. A lot of journalists use the word ‘source’. I would say, change that word to ‘coward’. 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,” Langer told Code Sports.
Langer had taken the job in 2018 in the aftermath of the sandpaper gate scandal which saw the likes of Steve Smith and David Warner being banned for a year and Cameron Bancroft being banned for 9 months. Coach Darren Lehmann had stepped down from his job as well, leading to Cricket Australia trying to find another coach.
Langer, who will commentate on TV during the Australian Test summer that starts against the West Indies next week, insisted he listened and improved his ways, but was still forced out after grumblings about his micromanaging began to surface about 12 months out from his eventual sacking.
“The hardest thing for me of all of it was: I got the feedback (and) I did something about it. We won the T20 World Cup, we won the Ashes. We were number one in the world. I’ve never enjoyed coaching more and I’ve still got sacked. That’s the hardest thing,” Langer said.
Justin Langer also shared his biggest regret of not forming a better relationship with Cricket Australia’s board.
“I talked to the Cricket Australia board three times in four years. That’s craziness. And that’s the only thing I’d do differently. Because when you know people haven’t got your back, there is no lonelier place in the world. When you do know people have got your back, there’s no more powerful place in the world. And that’s what I would have done differently,” he added.