'Cowards' in the team were leaking stuff to the media during my coaching tenure, lashes out Justin Langer

'Cowards' in the team were leaking stuff to the media during my coaching tenure, lashes out Justin Langer

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Justin Langer spent four years as Australia's head coach but left on poor terms following the team's World T20 triumph



Justin Langer has come out unabashed about his exit as Australia's head coach, labelling players that criticized him anonymously as cowards. He further highlighted how he successfully implemented action on feedback, yet had to regrettably leave owing to poor relationships with Cricket Australia.

Former Australia head coach Justin Langer has chosen to not mince his words when revealing the details of his tenure and how it ended, having delivered strong statements to the media recently. The legendary Test opener was appointed in 2018 following the infamous Newlands ball-tampering scandal and helped recover the national team's reputation with success across all formats. However, he made his exit from the team in 2021 following a breakdown in his relationship with both the players and the board as the frequency of anonymous criticism of him in the media increased with each passing day.

"Everyone was being nice to my face but I was reading about this stuff, and half of it ... I could not believe that is what was making the papers. A lot of journalists use the word 'source'. I would say, change that word to 'coward'. A coward says, not a source. Because what do you mean 'a source says'? They've either got an axe to grind with someone and they won't come and say it to your face, or they're just leaking stuff for their own agenda," Langer was quoted saying to Code Sports.

"I spoke to Pat Cummins. He said to me about five times, 'This might be brutally honest.' I said, 'Pat, there is nothing brutal about your feedback. What is brutal is I'm hearing it behind my back through the media or through sources,'" he added.

Langer was known to be a strict coach with high expectations and harsh ways of enforcing them but the 51-year-old has denied all such speculation.

"No one's telling me. Tell me. People say that I'm very intense, but they're mistaking intensity with honesty," Langer explained.

Under Langer, Australia won the 2021 Ashes at home 4-0, shortly after their maiden triumph at a World T20 in the 2021 edition. However, the Perth-born cricketer decided to quit after all that success only begot him a six-month contract extension. 

"The hardest thing for me of all of it was: I got the feedback (and) I did something about it. We won the T20 World Cup, we won the Ashes. We were number one in the world. I've never enjoyed coaching more and I've still got sacked. You can't give someone feedback, do something about it, and then that to happen," he revealed.

The soon-to-be-commentator, having signed up with Seven for the upcoming Australian Test summer, expressed that a failure to maintain proper relationships with the cricketing board was his only regret from his time as a head coach.

"I talked to the Cricket Australia board three times in four years. That's craziness. And that's the only thing I'd do differently. Because when you know people haven't got your back, there is no lonelier place in the world. When you do know people have got your back, there's no more powerful place in the world. And that's what I would have done differently," Langer concluded on the matter.

Following Langer's comments, Cricket Australia CEO Nick Hockley has come out in the defence of the players, labelling the treatment of the former coach as 'consistent with a high-performance environment' and stating his remarks were 'unfairly criticizing some of our players.'

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