Justin Langer named Australia's head coach

Dean Simpson
May 3, 2018

Cricket Australia on Thursday named Justin Langer as the successor to Darren Lehman. I'm a cricket tragic, the way he fields and the way he bats, they are things, I guess to a less trained eye, you might not respect that as much, but I love the way he plays his cricket.

"Try telling every young kid in Australia that a baggy green isn't something to aspire to", he said.

The controversy saw the resignation of then-coach, Darren Lehmann and the suspension of three key team members - team captain Steve Smith, vice-captain David Warner and opener Cameron Bancroft - who were banned after admitting to cheating during the third Test match in the team's series in South Africa.

While an inquiry by Cricket Australia found no involvement of Lehmann in the ball-tampering incident in the third test in Cape Town, Australia captain Steve Smith and vice-captain David Warner were banned from worldwide cricket for a year. We have got to make sure the behaviours are good. As a coach he has enjoyed success - not only in overseeing strong teams, but also in developing cricketers who are ready to play worldwide cricket for Australia.

A veteran of 105 Tests, Langer retired at the end of the 2006-07 Ashes series with 23 centuries and 7696 runs to his name.

The former Test opener was endorsed as Lehmann's replacement by the Cricket Australia board on Wednesday night, after an impressive six-year stint as Western Australia coach.

He also has a track record of fixing rotten cultures, having taken over a scandal-plagued Western Australia in 2012 and helped transform them into one of the country's most successful states. "They are great kids and it was such a surprise they made the mistake they did".

He also led the WA Warriors to one-day Cup titles twice, in 2014-15 and 2017-18.

A tearful Steve Smith facing the media at Sydney Airport.

"Has he got areas to get better at?"

"He sat me down and said you can either be on the train or you can jump off it".

"There are some big tournaments coming up".

"But ultimately, if I fast forward it, the Indian Test tour in about three or four years' time, to me that's the ultimate". "I would say without being in it, that camaraderie wasn't as tight as it needed to be because when we were under pressure, the glue separated a bit".

Cricket Australia's appointment has given him the chance to restore its status and it is a challenge Langer will no doubt grasp with both hands.

Cricket Australia chief James Sutherland described Langer as a "clear standout" among the candidates to replace Lehmann but confirmed CA did not look beyond Australian coaching ranks.

"We firmly believe Justin is the right person to lead this team and have huge confidence in what he will bring to the role", Sutherland added.

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