Cummins believes Langer apology unnecessary, defends Australia team-mates

By Sports Desk February 09, 2022

Australia Test captain Pat Cummins believes Justin Langer had no need to apologise for his intensity but insists he will always stick up for his mates amid a backlash to his sacking as head coach.

Former opener Langer guided his country to T20 World Cup success last November before overseeing a 4-0 Ashes thrashing of England across December and January.

However, the 51-year-old rejected a short-term extension on his contract, which was due to expire in June, and resigned as head coach of Australia last week.

Mitchell Johnson, Usman Khawaja and Shane Warne headed a host of names in Australian cricket to question the treatment of Langer, who has recently been linked with the vacant England head coach role.

But Cummins responded by emphasising his defence of his team-mates and Cricket Australia on Wednesday as he addressed the matter for the first time with a statement and later at a news conference.

The fast bowler wrote: "Justin has acknowledged that his style was intense. And it was. He has apologised to players and staff for his intensity.

"I think the apology was unnecessary because the players were okay with JL's intensity. It came from a good place - his fierce love of Australia and the baggy green - something which has served Australian cricket well for three decades.

"I take this responsibility seriously. I live and breathe it. We also have a duty to our mates. Many former players have reached out to me and silently offered me their advice, which is welcome.

"Some others have spoken in the media – which is also welcome and comes from a love of the game and their support of a mate.

"To all past players, I want to say this: Just as you have always stuck up for your mates, I'm sticking up for mine."

Cummins, who also explained it would not have been right for him to make "public comment" on the topic earlier, praised Langer's efforts, though he is now looking forward to a new era of Australian cricket.

"I think this group looking forward, a few things through the review process we really wanted and found important to get the best out of our players is I think the players benefit from a more collaborative approach," Cummins told reporters.

"A big theme this summer was to be more calm, more composed. That's been the feedback from the players, staff and Cricket Australia that that's the direction we want to take the team.

"I think he tweaked and changed quite a bit. He deserves a lot of credit for that. I think the question then became do we think that it's sustainable. We thought it is the right time to make a change.

"I think some of these skill sets are perhaps a little bit different to perhaps his traditional coaching style.

"I think he tweaked his coaching style in the last six months and did a really good job, but we think now is the right time for a different direction. It's a matter of opinion but we think it's the right one."

Andrew McDonald has been promoted from assistant coach in the interim and is expected to lead Australia when they tour Pakistan in March.

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