New Aussie boss Langer has big task

Incoming coach Justin Langer has vowed to regain respect for Australian cricket after the recent scandal.
Incoming coach Justin Langer has vowed to regain respect for Australian cricket after the recent scandal.

SYDNEY • Justin Langer has 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 yesterday.

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 former 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."

One of his first jobs will be to participate in a players' review launched by Cricket Australia (CA). It is aimed at improving the culture of the team after the scandal.

He will join men's Test captain Tim Paine and the national women's skipper Rachael Haynes on a panel along with other former cricketers to draft a players' "charter of behaviour".

Australia's next international matches are a one-day international series in England next month.

CA chief executive officer James Sutherland said: "We believe Justin is the right person to lead this team and have huge confidence in what he will bring to the role."

Langer has opened the door for the 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... 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."

Langer scored more than 7,500 runs, including 23 centuries in 105 Test matches and has enjoyed success coaching Western Australia state and the Perth Scorchers since November 2012. He has acted as Australia's head coach on an interim basis, in a limited-overs series in the Caribbean in 2016, and at home against Sri Lanka last year.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 04, 2018, with the headline 'New Aussie boss Langer has big task'. Print Edition | Subscribe