Australian men’s cricket coach Justin Langer announced his surprise resignation Saturday, a day after his future was discussed by Cricket Australia board members. Langer brings an end to his successful tenure that extended to more than 3 years. His contract was set to expire only in June.
However, following talks with the CA top brass, Langer decided to bring an early end after months of uncertainty on whether he would be given a long-term extension. It was reported earlier this month that Langer reacted angrily when he was told about the prospect of re-applying for the head coach role.
“DSEG confirms that our client Justin Langer has this morning tendered his resignation as coach of the Australian men’s cricket team,” Dynamic Sports & Entertainment group, Langer’s management firm, said in a social media post.
“The resignation follows a meeting with Cricket Australia last evening. The resignation is effective immediately.”
Australia take on Sri Lanka in a 5-match T20I series from February 11 but Langer had gotten a pre-approved leave for the home series and was expected to join the team during their tour of Pakistan in March. Andrew McDonald is set to be in charge of the team against Sri Lanka.
Justin Langer had taken over as Australia men’s team head coach shortly after the infamous ball-tampering scandal that saw heads roll in Australian cricket. He took over from Darren Lehman who had quit after Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft were banned from the game following the infamous incident in Cape Town.
Langer helped rebuild the Australian side during the absence of Smith and Warner but a second successive home Test series defeat to India in 2020-21 and away defeats to Bangladesh and West Indies last year helped raise question marks about his future.
Langer’s approach came under the scanner after Australian media reported that several of their players were unhappy with the coach’s dominant way. However, Langer himself quelled talks of dressing room revolt as Australia geared up for the T20 World Cup.
Nonetheless, under Langer’s watch, Australia won their first-ever T20 World Cup title and went on to hammer England 4-0 in the Ashes, brightening the chances of Langer getting a contract extension.
The players did not speak out publically even as Langer’s contract saga was dominating headlines over the last few weeks in Australia.
However, captain Pat Cummins had said that the public would be thinking that extending Langer’s contract is a mere formality but added that the board needs to follow a process that is already put in place.
“It’s also true that we have to run a process, and totally evaluate, and do what we’re always trying to do, improve and optimise the environment.
“It’s the right process, it’s how you maintain being No.1 in the world,” Cummins had said.
Langer finished with 18 victories out of 27 Tests but more than his numbers, the former opener, will be remembered for the way in which he steered Australian men’s team during their crisis period after the ball-tampering saga.