Australia captain Pat Cummins has denied that Justin Langer’s intense coaching style was a problem, instead citing widespread feedback suggesting the time was right for a new voice in the dressing room as the reason for his departure .
Cummins was heavily criticized for failing to endorse the T20 World Cup and Ashes winning coach as speculation raged about his job.
Langer resigned from his position at the weekend after turning down a six-month contract offer from Cricket Australia.
A host of former players, many of them former Langer teammates, have accused the fast bowler of having an agenda against the now-former coach.
In a statement on Wednesday, Cummins also responded to those comments, acknowledging the former players’ willingness to support their friend but apparently standing by his teammates who felt the coach had to go.
“Now that Justin has made the decision to step down and given his own public comments and others by Cricket Australia, I can provide some clarity,” Cummins said.
“Justin admitted his style was intense. And he was.
“He has apologized to players and staff for his intensity.
“I think the apology was unnecessary. Because the players were okay with the intensity of JL.
“It came for a good reason – his fierce love of Australia and the baggy green – something that has served Australian cricket well for three decades.
“That makes him a legend in the sport.
“And Justin’s intensity has resulted in a better team culture and higher team standards.
“These are significant legacies from Justin Langer.
“And on behalf of the players, I thank Justin.”
Cummins suggested that feedback on Langer’s future has been consistent across players and staff and that now is the time for a fresh face in the role.
“To be better players for Australia on this solid foundation we need a new style of training and skills,” he said.
“This was the feedback the players gave to Cricket Australia. And it’s the feedback that I believe the support staff have given as well.
“I add that as professional athletes, we would have accepted any decision CA made because that’s what professionals do.
“CA made a bold call for a change as the team won.”
Mitchell Johnson, Matthew Hayden, Mark Taylor, Ricky Ponting and Steve Waugh are among a long list of ex-players criticizing Cummins and Cricket Australia for handling the situation.
Cummins, apparently willing to take the heat on behalf of the gaming group for the controversial decision, also referenced it in his statement.
“A lot of former players have reached out to me and offered tacit advice, which is welcome,” Cummins said.
“Some others have spoken out in the media – which is also welcome and comes from a friend’s love of the game and support.
“I would like to say this to all ex-players: just as you have always stood up for your mates, I will stand up for mine.”
See the full explanation below.
Statement by Pat Cummins on Justin Langer. pic.twitter.com/zgb1tiSIu7
— Melinda Farrell (@melindafarrell) February 9, 2022
Cummins will speak to the media in Sydney on Wednesday afternoon.