Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting and Matthew Hayden have slammed Cricket Australia for not giving ample support to the recently-resigned head coach of the Australian men’s cricket team Justin Langer amid the criticisms. Langer, who took the charge as the head coach of the team from Darren Lehmann in 2018 after the sandpaper saga, has resigned from the post on Saturday morning, five months before the end of his term as well.
The decision came only a day after his meeting with CA board directors who were looking after his performance despite having on-field success, which included an ICC T20 World Cup win and a dominant Ashes series as well. Ponting, however, referred to the situation as ’embarassing’.
“I think it’s a really sad day as far as Australian cricket is concerned,” Ricky Ponting told ABC radio. “And if you look back, it’s been a really poor six months. I think of the way that Cricket Australia as a whole have handled some of the better people in Australian cricket, Justin Langer and Tim Paine, I think it’s been almost embarrassing with the way they’ve handled those two cases.”
Meanwhile, Hayden criticised Pat Cummins for failing to endorse Langer for a longer term as the head coach. Notably, Cummins took the reins recently and he had said that it was ‘fair’ on the board’s part to evaluate Langer’s role, just like with the cricketers.
“It was absolutely clear that no one backed him,” Hayden told ABC. “If you listen to the Australian captain the other day not mention once any kind of commendation or support for him, I don’t think (Justin) would be going very well at all. That would be extremely hurtful. The whole thing just reeks of being orchestrated, basically from the moment all of this garbage started coming out (about Langer’s coaching style) in winter last year. You could see the writing was on the wall.”
Ricky Ponting said: “Deep down, Pat might have known that this day was coming. If he had have gone on the front foot and endorsed Justin, they would have been in a position where they wouldn’t have been able to move on from him. If it’s not just him, if there are other players that are coming to him and letting him know that maybe they feel that Justin is not the right man, I think that actually puts Pat in a difficult position as well.”
He further added that times and cultures have changed in Australian cricket, which helped players become more powerful than they used to be earlier.
Ricky Ponting shared: “Never in my time as a player or as captain of the team did us as a player group ever influence what a board was thinking as far as appointments of coaches. It seems this time like the players, and maybe a couple of the other personnel around the Australian cricket team, might have influenced Cricket Australia into the making the decision that they have. Reading the tea leaves, it sounds like a few – and (Langer) would say to me a very small (number) of the playing group and he believes a couple of other staff around the team – haven’t entirely loved the way that he’s gone about it.”
“And that’s been enough to force (out) a man that’s put his life and heart and soul into Australian cricket. (He’s) done what I believe has been a sensational job in turning around the culture and the way that the Australian cricket team has been looked at over the last three or four years, (but it) has been enough to push him out of his dream job. I am very close to Justin, we’re like brothers, but I’ve not got too heavily involved in this because… there’s no way that I could change the way that this looked like it was heading. What’s happened today, I’ve sort of felt that has been heading that way for quite a while,” Ricky Ponting concluded.