Cricket

“Never edgy”, Justin Langer ready for contract extension talks with Cricket Australia

“Content” after guiding Australia to its maiden T20 World Cup title and a dominant Ashes victory, head coach Justin Langer is looking forward to the impending contract discussion with the country’s cricket board which has been subject to a lot of speculations.

Langer was appointed head coach in the aftermath of the ball-tampering scandal in 2018 to overhaul the team’s culture and regain the respect of the Australian public. His contract is due to end in June.

“I’m never edgy (about his future),” Langer told ‘SEN Radio’ on Wednesday. “Before the World Cup and before the Ashes, we’ve never ever been better prepared. So it’s not a coincidence I don’t think that we’ve had the success that we’ve had,” he said.

Langer faced criticism for his coaching methods from the players but in the past four months, he has guided Australia to a maiden Twenty20 World Cup title and a 4-0 Ashes series victory.

“Whatever happens from now on, we can all be incredibly proud of this little period. We had two missions: To win the World Cup and to win the Ashes,” he said. “To do that in such a short period is a monumental effort and we’re all really satisfied with that, we’re all really happy about that, we’re all really, really proud of that.”

Langer says he feels “really content” about Australia’s recent achievements. “I sit here at the moment feeling really content with the last two series,” Langer said.

The former Test opener’s job had been under the scanner since Australia’s disappointing loss to India in Tests last year but he was backed by Cricket Australia (CA) chief executive officer Nick Hockley. There were also reports of a rift between the players and Langer and all talk of a contract extension was put on hold by CA until after the Ashes series.

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“People don’t seem to believe this, but the absolute truth is before the World Cup and the Ashes, we all committed to the end of the Ashes to sit down and have some conversations,” he said. “It’s been four really big years and it’s an all-encompassing job and it’s a tough gig…that’s just the truth.

“We all said that we’d sit down after the Ashes. So in the next little bit, I’m sure those conversations will start to be had. There’s plenty to be spoken about,” Langer added. Last month, the 51-year-old had hinted that he would seek an extension to his four-year contract.

Australian greats Ricky Ponting, Steve Waugh, Shane Warne and Adam Gilchrist have backed Langer to continue, while his predecessor Darren Lehmann, who stepped down after the ball tampering episode, has urged his former teammate to walk away on a high.

“I can’t see how he’s not (offered another contract),” Ponting told cricket.com.au. ” I know there was a bit of noise created the last couple of weeks and Cricket Australia giving no assurances to him continuing on.

“The way that I would equate it is if Justin is not to be offered another deal on the back of the best coaching year of his life, that’s like (Ashes player of the series) Travis Head not getting offered a contract next year,” the former skipper added.

Langer will oversee Australia’s upcoming tour of Pakistan with three Tests, three ODIs and a T20I slated across March and early April.

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