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Player power contributes to Justin Langer’s resignation


Justin Langer Resignation, Test cricket

Despite recently leading the Australian men’s cricket team to a first Twenty20 World Cup title and a thumping 4-0 Ashes series victory, speculation still remained about the future of coach Justin Langer.

After meeting with Cricket Australia, Langer decided to resign with immediate effect after being unhappy with the short-term contract offered to him.

Langer believes he did not have the support of his players and staff.

“If media reports are correct, several senior players and a couple of support staff don’t support me moving forward,” Langer wrote in his resignation letter.

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This begs the question, do players have too much power and influence when it comes to decisions being made by governing bodies regarding the head coach?

In recent times, Australian test captain Pat Cummins has spoken about the impact of the coronavirus on cricket, climate change, wind turbines and fossil fuels; however, he has not publicly come out and offered his support for Langer.

In a statement released by Cummins, he questioned whether Langer’s ‘style of coaching’ was best for the team moving forward.

“The question is: what is the best style of coaching for the future, given how the team has evolved?” Cummins said. 

“To be better players for Australia, from this solid foundation, we need a new style of coaching and skill set. This was the feedback the players gave to Cricket Australia. And it’s the feedback I understand support staff also gave.”

Speaking on Fox Cricket’s Follow-On podcast about the decision by Langer to resign, Australian cricket great Shane Warne believes that players are now ‘calling the shots’.

“This player power movement and all this rubbish…Something is not quite right there,” he said.

Warne believes the ‘New South Wales mafia’, which includes Cummins and other Blues members of the Australian cricket team, played a key role in Langer’s exit.

“They didn’t like his style, well, they better start performing,” Warne said.

“I’m absolutely staggered because if the players don’t like it, that’s fine. It’s all about results and if Australian men’s cricket is in better shape now. And yes it is.”

Warne is not the only former Australian cricketer questioning whether the players had a role in Langer’s resignation with former wicket keeper Adam Gilchrist believing Langer did not have the support of the players.

“I don’t care to listen to any of the corporate speak about transition and analysis of the coach’s position and requirements and evolution, that is just covering up that certain players and support staff around that team have spoken and they no longer wanted Justin there,” Gilchrist said on SEN.

Whatever the opinion the players have of Langer, he will go down as one of Australia’s greatest coaches who lead the team out of the dark sandpapergate days and into the promised land of the number one test team in the world. 

So what does the future hold for Langer? Could he one day coach England against Australia in an Ashes series? Only time will tell. 

Joel Martelli
Joel Martelli
The only thing that Joel Martelli loves more than football (seriously, we wouldn't be surprised if he has a Wollongong Wolves tattoo) is writing about all things sports. With a Bachelor of Communications and Media Studies Degree specialising in Journalism, he spends his days uncovering breaking athlete news stories and diving deep into play-by-play strategies. We're glad that he's put his passion to the pages of Only Sports as one of our dedicated sports writers.

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