Australia have appointed their former player Justin Langer as the new head coach. Cricket Australia (CA) announced the news on Thursday (May 3). The former opening batsman has been appointed for a four-year term and will coach the senior men’s side across all the three formats.
While Langer is relatively new to coaching in international arena, he is not new to coaching. He has been in charge of Western Australia and Big Bash League franchise Perth Scorchers since November 2012 and has done a commendable job. Under him, the Scorchers won the BBL thrice in 2013-14, 2014-15 and 2016-17. He’s also led the Warriors to One-Day Cup titles twice, in 2014-15 and 2017-18.
Langer also got a taste of coaching Australia. In 2016, he was with the team for the ODI tri-series in the Caribbeans and also joined the team for the T20 International Series on home soil against Sri Lanka in 2017. Before that he had served as the assistant coach for three years from November 2009.
The batting legend will have his task cut out with his new side. He is joining the team when it is going through a turbulent time. Two of its main players- Steve Smith and David Warner along with youngster Cameron Bancroft – are serving lengthy bans in the wake of the ball tampering incident. That was the very incident which made former coach Darren Lehmann step down from his post.
There were media reports suggesting that the likes of Jason Gillespie and Ricky Ponting were also in fray. However, James Sutherland, CA CEO, said Langer was always being seen as a successor to Lehmann “for some time”.
“We are thrilled to appoint Justin as Head Coach of the Australian Men’s Cricket Team,” Sutherland, said. “Whilst Darren Lehmann was not due to complete his term until next year, we have had a succession plan in place for this role for some time.
“In addition to professional development opportunities, this plan has included several coaches stepping into the head role to relieve Darren at times, and to also provide support roles, including Justin, and forms part of our long running succession planning process. The plan has allowed us to consider several worthy candidates, but Justin was the clear standout, particularly based on his recent coaching and player development achievements.
“We firmly believe Justin is the right person to lead this team. We have huge confidence in what he will bring to the role. Justin’s work ethic, leadership and values are among his strongest attributes – and he is widely respected across the global cricket community,” he added.
Langer also expressed his delight over becoming the Australia head coach.
“It is humbling to be appointed as coach of the Australian Men’s Cricket Team,” he said before adding: “I would like to thank the Western Australian Cricket Association and the Perth Scorchers for their support over the past six seasons. And for giving me the opportunity to lead and work with two great teams and many exceptional people.
“I am very excited about the scope. I now have to coach the country that supported me so much in my cricketing career. There will be some significant challenges ahead for our group. But there is a wealth of talent in Australian cricket that I know will do us all proud.
“I’m thoroughly looking forward to working with all players. We strive for a successful men’s team across all formats, with the support and respect of the Australian public,” he concluded.
Part of Australia’s all-conquering team of early 2000s, Langer represented Australia in 105 Test matches and eight ODIs. He scored 7696 Test runs with the help of 23 centuries.