Former Test opener Justin Langer believes he can restore the Australian cricket team's battered reputation in the wake of the Test side's ball tampering in South Africa.
Justin Langer has been handed the reins of the Australian men’s cricket team in all three formats, following the sensational exit of former coach Darren Lehmann in March.
Langer will commence the role on May 22 on a four-year deal, which includes two Ashes series, a World Cup and World T20 tournament.
His results as Western Australia’s head coach put him head and shoulders above other candidates, according to Cricket Australia CEO James Sutherland.
Since 2012 he’s won three Big Bash League titles with the Perth Scorchers and led WA to two one-day crowns.
In fact, he was already being groomed for the role prior to the ball tampering scandal in South Africa that threw Australian cricket into chaos, and saw Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft given lengthy bans.
“Whilst Darren Lehmann was not due to complete his term until next year, we have had a succession plan in place for this role for some time,” said Sutherland.
Whilst Darren Lehmann was not due to complete his term until next year, we have had a succession plan in place for this role for some time.
“In addition to professional development opportunities, this plan has included several coaches stepping into the head role to relieve Darren at times, and to also provide support roles, including Justin, and forms part of our long running succession planning process.
“The plan has allowed us to consider several worthy candidates, but Justin was the clear standout, particularly based on his recent coaching and player development achievements.
“We firmly believe Justin is the right person to lead this team and have huge confidence in what he will bring to the role.”
Lehmann, who played alongside his successor, applauded the decision.
— Darren Lehmann (@darren_lehmann) May 2, 2018
Langer to forge new respect
The tenacious and brilliant former opener — who continually took the fight to the fearsome West Indies pace attacks of the 1990s — said it is his responsibility to establish a culture deserving of the Australian public’s “support and respect”.
He wore the baggy green in 105 Tests and played eight one-day internationals, averaging 45 and 32 respectively. But he particularly flourished in the cauldron of the Ashes, averaging over 50 against England, and notching four tons with a highest score of 250.
Ricky Ponting picked Langer and his long-time opening partner Matthew Hayden in his best Ashes XI last year.
“It is humbling to be appointed as coach of the Australian men’s cricket team,” Langer said.
“I would like to thank the Western Australian Cricket Association and the Perth Scorchers for their support over the past six seasons, and for giving me the opportunity to lead and work with two great teams and many exceptional people.
“I’d like to especially thank my family for being with me on this journey and for supporting me in accepting this position.
“I am very excited about the scope I now have to coach the country that supported me so much in my cricketing career.
“There will be some significant challenges ahead for our group, but there is a wealth of talent in Australian cricket that I know will do us all proud.
There will be some significant challenges ahead for our group, but there is a wealth of talent in Australian cricket that I know will do us all proud.
“I’m thoroughly looking forward to working with all players, as we strive for a successful men’s team across all formats, with the support and respect of the Australian public.”