Australia coach Justin Langer says the Australian side were behaving like “spoilt brats” ahead of the Cape Town ball-tampering scandal and Steven Smith wasn’t a strong enough leader to handle the situation.
Meanwhile, Cricket Australia suspended the disgraced trio for their role in the incident in South Africa. Talking about the side under Smith’s captaincy, Langer said the team played like spoil brats.
“The whispers were there,” Langer said in a British Sky TV interview. “Once upon a time, the opposition didn’t like us because we played really good, hard cricket – we were very skilful and we won a lot of games. It’s easy to dislike the opposition if they’re good, but there have been too many whispers in the last 12 months or so about the abuse on the field, or dare I say, the side playing like spoilt brats,” he added.
He also said as a former player he “nearly died” when he heard about the scandal. Prior to these, several other unseemly incidents took place in the South African series.
Smith wasn’t strong enough
Talking about the difference between the aggressive side he once played in and Smith’s team, Langer pointed the finger at the captaincy.
“I think Steve Smith maybe just wasn’t strong enough in his leadership,” he said. “But he loves the game of cricket – he practises harder than anyone I’ve ever met – and he is a very, very nice young lad. There’s no doubt about that,” Langer concluded.
Langer took charge of his first game on Wednesday, with Australia losing the opening match of their one-day series in England by three wickets at The Oval.