‘Change the word to coward’: Langer lambasts Australia players ‘leaking’ info | Cricket

Former Australia head coach Justin Langer has come down hard on Cricket Australia for not giving him a full extension despite the team doing so well in his tenure. Langer quit as Australia’s head coach after he was offered a six-month extension instead of a full term following Australia’s T20 World Cup and Ashes wins. The former opening batter, who was the face of Australian cricket, the one responsible for changing the outlook after the ball-tampering scandal in Cape Town in 2018 saw the downfall of Steve Smith, David Warner, Cameron Bancroft and coach Darren Lehmann, expected a batter end to his coaching tenure.

According to various Australian media reports, Langer had a fallout with Australia captains Aaron Finch and Pat Cummins. They had problems with his coaching style.

Langer was particularly hurt by the reports of unhappiness among players about his ways of managing the team. The former left-handed batter even called those ‘leaking’ news to the media ‘cowards.’

“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,” he told Code Sports.

“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 took the job in 2018 with Australian cricket at its lowest ebb for decades in the wake of a cheating affair, and was credited with restoring pride in the beloved baggy green cap.

But grumblings about his micromanaging began to surface about 12 months out from his eventual sacking.

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.

“The hardest thing for me of all of it was: I got the feedback (and) I did something about it,” he said.

“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 his biggest regret was his lack of 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,” he said.

“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.”

(With AFP inputs)

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