Justin Langer resignation as coach sad day for Australian cricket says Ricky Ponting
Former Australia skipper Ricky Ponting on Saturday said that Justin Langer resignation as head coach is a “sad day for Australian cricket.”
Cricket Australia on Saturday accepted men’s team head coach Justin Langer’s resignation. “Justin was offered a short-term extension to his current contract, which sadly he has opted not to accept,” stated an official Cricket Australia release.
“It is a really sad day as far as Australian cricket is concerned and if you look back it has been a really poor six months on the whole in the way that Cricket Australia has handled some of the better people in the Australian cricket – Justin Langer and Tim Paine – and I think it’s been almost embarrassing the way they have handled those two cases,” Ponting told ABC Radio, as reported by ESPNcricinfo.
“He mustn’t have had the full backing of the board. Me knowing Justin the way that I do, he was very keen to continue in the role. As he should have been what’s been the best coaching period of his international career. After having just won the T20 World Cup and then the 4-0 result in the Ashes,” he added.
Justin’s contract extension was the result of a thorough review process that evaluated many factors including the team’s future needs and the approaching large fixture schedule. The CA Board approved the extension, which was presented to Justin last night. It included the chance to defend their T20 World Cup crown in Australia later this year.
“It seems like a very strange time for a coach to be departing. Reading the tea leaves it sounds like a few – and as he [Langer] says to me a small group in the playing group and a couple of other staff around the team – haven’t entirely loved the way he has gone about it,” said Ponting.
“That’s been enough to force a man who has put his life and heart and soul into Australian cricket. And done a sensational job at turning around the culture and the way the Australian team has been looked at in the last few years to push him out of the job,” he added.
After the Sandpaper Gate scandal, which resulted in one-year bans for David Warner and Steve Smith. Langer was appointed as the men’s team coach in 2018. Australia won the T20 World Cup in 2021 and subsequently the Ashes under Langer’s leadership.
“Justin is a great mate of mine and I know how passionate he is about the Australian coaching job. And that he wanted to continue on and be the best coach and have the best cricket team in the world. I think Pat also has been put in a difficult situation as captain. If it’s not just him and it is other players coming to him. And letting him know that maybe they think Justin is not the right man. Then I think that puts Pat in a difficult position as well,” said Ponting.
“If he had got on the front foot and endorsed Justin. They would not have been in a position to move him on. I am close to Justin, we are like brothers but I have not got too heavily involved in this. As much as giving him a pat on the back and put an arm around him here and there. There was no way I could change the way this was heading. What’s happened today I’ve felt was coming for quite a while. Even looking back before the T20 World Cup there was a lot of speculation there,” he added.