Australia needed a “new style” of more collaborative coaching, captain Pat Cummins said on Wednesday in his first public comments since the departure of former national team coach Justin Langer.
Following Langer’s resignation on Saturday, Cummins and his team have come under fire from several retired players for not publicly supporting the coach. But Cummins said his job as a leader was to support the opinions of his players, not to curry favor with Langer’s former teammates.
“To all former players, I want to say this: just as you have always stood up for your friends, I stand up for mine,” Cummins said in a lengthy statement released by Cricket Australia (CA). Langer left after a nearly four-year reign that was widely seen as instilling integrity and discipline in a side that had been disgraced by a ball-tampering scandal against South Africa in 2018.
His tenure culminated in a 4-0 win over England in the Ashes series which ended last month. Langer left after CA offered him a contract extension of just six months. Cummins said Langer’s renowned intensity was not the reason he was only offered six months, describing the CA job as a “brave call”.
“Justin acknowledged his style was intense. And he was. He apologized to the players and staff for his intensity,” Cummins said. “I think the apology was unnecessary. Because the players were fine with JL’s intensity…and Justin’s intensity led to better team culture and higher team standards. high. These are important legacies.”
According to Cummins, Australian players gave feedback to CA during a two-year process that a new style of coaching was needed after the excellent foundation provided by Langer. “We are pleased that Cricket Australia has invited players and staff to contribute to CA’s assessment,” he said.
“CA made a brave call for transition, given that the team won.” Fast bowler Cummins, who took over as captain in November, expanded on his statement at a press conference in Sydney ahead of a five-match Twenty20 series against Sri Lanka which begins on Friday.
He said the team had enjoyed a “calm” atmosphere recently. “I think he’s tweaked his coaching style over the last six months…but we think now is a good time for a different direction,” he said of Langer.
“Players would benefit from a more collaborative approach.”
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