Australia chief coach Justin Langer on Thursday (January 10) indulged in a tense exchange with a reporter after being asked about Glenn Maxwell's absence from the Test squad.
On Wednesday (January 9), Australia named its 13-man squad for the upcoming Test series against Sri Lanka at home. Maxwell, who was left out of the India Test series, failed to secure a place against the Lankans as well.
Langer was asked about Maxwell after claims that the 30-year-old wanted to play county cricket in 2018 but was allegedly blocked by Cricket Australia powerbrokers who wanted him to rest for an Australia A tour of India in August and September. Maxwell, however, was not selected for that ‘A’ tour neither he was picked for the away Test series against Pakistan in October last year.
"Are you certain that's what happened? Are you certain that's what happened?" Langer replied.
"Did it happen? You're telling me it did happen — did it happen? I'm asking, did it happen?
"I've got zero knowledge of that… Careless whispers, aye?"
Langer later apologised, saying: "Sorry for getting grumpy. I don't like getting grumpy, but there's so many stories that go around about so much stuff.
"Sorry for getting grumpy. We can talk about it after. The truth is a beautiful thing."
Maxwell, who represented Australia in seven Tests thus far, hasn’t played red-ball cricket since September 2017.
"Glenn is crystal clear from me, and the selectors, what he needs to do to get back in the Test team. He is crystal clear," Langer said.
"He has shown he is brilliant around the group in white ball cricket. There have been some reports about personality — it is literally false. It's not true.
"He is crystal clear what he has to do, and that's important that he knows that and that I know that as the coach and one of the selectors, and all the conjecture about it, that's all part of the noise."
(With inputs from Omnisport)