Tuesday, 18 January 2022

‘Earn respect’ – Langer vows new culture as Aussie coach

Justin Langer

SYDNEY: Justin Langer vowed to fix the scandal-hit Australian cricket team’s behaviour and win back respect after being named head coach in all three formats of the game Thursday.

The former Test opener, 47, starts his new role on May 22 for a four-year term which takes in two Ashes series, a World Cup and a World Twenty20 tournament.

He takes the reins at a time of crisis following the 12-month suspensions of ex-captain Steve Smith and his deputy David Warner over a ball-tampering scandal which also saw previous coach Darren Lehmann quit.

“The expectations are high in the Australian cricket team. We have got to make sure the behaviours are good. If we do that, I think the outcomes will look after themselves,” Langer told a media conference.

“I think one of the things that’s really important is that we keep looking to earn respect. To me, respect is worth more than all the gold in the world.”

Cricket Australia has ordered a review of the damaged sport’s culture in the wake of the scandal during the third Test against South Africa in Cape Town that tarnished Australian cricket’s reputation.

“We all know what the acceptable behaviours are. There is a difference between competitiveness and aggression and we’ve got to be careful with that,” Langer said.

“We look to encourage great cricketers, but also great people. So we if we can encourage great people and great Australians over the next four years, I think that’s a really important foundation for us.”

Langer opened the door for a return of Smith, Warner and Cameron Bancroft, who was also banned for the tampering incident.

“We’ll learn from what’s happened,” he said. “They are great kids and it was such a surprise they made the mistake they did. But they are great kids, we have all made mistakes, we can all get better at things.

“If we can keep mentoring and helping them and they want to meet the standards of the Australian cricket team, then of course they’d be welcomed back.”

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