Cricket Australia has denied reports national coach Justin Langer threw a tantrum at a “fiery” meeting after being told he may need to reapply for his job. Langer’s four-year contract ends in mid-2022 and there is speculation over his future, despite Australia’s recent success in the Ashes series and at the T20 World Cup. Local media reports said Langer, whose intense management style created dressing room tensions last year, “went ballistic” during talks with senior Cricket Australia staff over his future.
The 51-year-old was reportedly incensed at the prospect of having to reapply for the job he took in 2018, when Australian cricket was mired in the Sandpaper-gate cheating scandal.
Cricket Australia confirmed contract discussions with Langer began last Friday but rejected suggestions the meeting turned ugly.
“While we do not comment on confidential conversations, we felt on this occasion it was important to correct the record,” the governing body said in a statement.
“Among other false claims, we reject outright the assertion that the meeting was fiery or heated and that Justin was asked to reapply for his job.”
The governing body said it would make an announcement when the contract discussions were complete.
Former opening batter Langer has restored Australia’s cricketing pride after the ball-tampering affair in South Africa revealed the national side was plagued by a toxic win-at-all-costs mentality.
But there have long been rumours of discontent over his “headmaster-like” leadership style and former captain Tim Paine revealed last August that players had complained to Langer about the issue.
Former captain Mark Taylor said he suspected there was a push for change within the Australian camp because Langer had achieved the goal of cleaning up the team culture after the 2018 cheating scandal.
“(Now) there’s a movement –- maybe by the players, maybe by Cricket Australia themselves –- that (the) job has been done, and it might be time for more of a man manager and less of an absolute cricket coach and disciplinarian,” Taylor told Sydney’s 2GB radio.
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