Image courtesy of: Zimbio
Justin Langer has succeeded Darren Lehmann as Australia’s new head coach on a four-year deal.
Prior to being named head coach of the national team, Langer was head coach of Western Australia and the Perth Scorchers in the Big Bash League (BBL).
The 47-year-old comes in at a time where Australia are looking to restore their tarnished reputation in the aftermath of the ball tampering scandal.
It is understood that David Warner played a leading role in the scandal, which occurred on the third day of the third Test against South Africa in Cape Town, as he told fellow opening batsman Cameron Bancroft to alter the condition of the ball with sandpaper.
As a result, Warner and Steve Smith were banned for 12 months by Cricket Australia, while Bancroft was suspended for nine months. Smith also won’t be allowed to captain Australia for two years, while Warner won’t be considered for leadership roles in the future.
Lehmann also stepped down from his position after the scandal, even though he insisted that he had no knowledge about the incident.
“It is humbling to be appointed as coach of the Australian Men’s Cricket Team,” Langer was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo. “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. 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.”
Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland revealed that the decision to name Langer head coach was made quite a while ago.
“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,” Sutherland said. “In addition to professional development opportunities, this plan has included several coaches [Steve Rixon, Trevor Bayliss, David Saker and Langer] 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. As an international cricketer, Justin was a proud and courageous competitor who gave his all for his country. As a coach he has enjoyed success – not only in overseeing strong teams, but also in developing cricketers who are ready to play international cricket for Australia.
“To illustrate this, Western Australia has more nationally-contracted male players than any other state for 2018-19. Justin’s work ethic, leadership and values are among his strongest attributes – and he is widely respected across the global cricket community.”
Langer’s first assignment as head coach will be Australia’s limited overs tour of England in June.