Michael Hussey has offered his opinions on the ongoing feud between Justin Langer and Cricket Australia over the former's exit as head coach, stating it can cause concerns for some players ahead of the cricketing summer. He went on to commend Langer's contributions and his methods of mentorship.
Justin Langer's recent remarks about his sacking as head coach from the Australian cricket team earlier this year have caused quite a stir in the media, given its crucial timing just ahead of Australia's first home Test of the summer against the West Indies. Langer was offered just a six-month extension by Cricket Australia, despite winning the World T20 2021 and the Ashes 4-0, leading to an acrimonious exit from the Kangaroos setup. In lieu of the same, Langer has lashed out in the media labelling the players as 'cowards' for criticizing him in the media behind his back while he was still in charge, provoking CA CEO Nick Hockley to come out in their support.
Speaking on the issue, retired veteran Michael Hussey has stated such harsh remarks might impact the players' mental space negatively as they prepare for the two-match Test series against the West Indies beginning November 30. The batter cited examples from his playing days to paint a better picture.
“Some guys it will upset. Some guys read all the press and take it all in, and other guys just completely block it out altogether. I was someone that took no notice of any media when I was playing. It’s hard to filter everything out, but I tried to see as few headlines as possible. I didn’t read any newspapers, but there are other guys who are the opposite, that like to know what’s going on. Some people like to use it for motivation. I know Michael Clarke used to read all the papers and often use criticism as motivation," he told news.com.au.
Langer led Australia to 15 wins in 27 Tests, helping them recover from the 2018 Newlands ball-tampering scandal that led to the installation of a new skipper in Tim Paine and a ban on influential players Steve Smith and David Warner. However, he soon built up a name for being strict in the dressing room, with players like Khawaja revealing they 'were walking on eggshells' with the former opener in charge,
“He’s passionate, there’s no question about that. He cares so much about the team. He almost sees his players as sons, he loves them that much, and sometimes you need to speak sternly to your sons. That’s the way it goes as a dad if you see yourself as that father figure. It’s obviously still hurting him a fair bit with the way it all sort of played out, and he’s upset about it,” Hussey said of Langer, with the duo scheduled to share the commentary box for Seven for the upcoming Tests.
“The team they’re trying to move on, they’re trying to look forward from that Justin Langer era. He still needs to be given a lot of credit for the job that he did in helping the Aussie team gain a lot of that respect back," Hussey added.