Cricket Australia chief Nick Hockley defended Justin Langer Wednesday after mounting concern over his management style sparked uncertainty around his position heading into the Twenty20 World Cup and a home Ashes series.
The Australian head coach was forced to address negative feedback earlier this year when discontent surfaced about his "headmaster-like" leadership and shifting moods. He took the criticism on board and admitted he had been "grumpy and intense" most of his life.
Langer faced controversy again last week after reports of a heated argument with a Cricket Australia journalist following a poor white-ball tour of the West Indies and Bangladesh. The confrontation is said to have taken place in the team hotel, with players and staff watching, leading to feverish media speculation over his future.
Hockley praised the "incredible job" Langer had done in rebuilding the culture of Australian cricket since being hired in the aftermath of the notorious "Sandpaper-gate" ball-tampering tour of South Africa in 2018.
"His efforts have restored public faith in the national team, which is a side all Australians can be incredibly proud of," he said in a statement.
Hockley didn't directly address Langer's management style but noted it had been an "extremely disruptive and challenging 18 months" during the pandemic with border closures and cricketers living in bio-secure bubbles.
"Despite those challenges the side has had great success in one-day, Test and T20 cricket, when all players were available," he said.
"Justin, his coaching staff and the leaders within the team have an equally important part to play in ensuring a successful summer ahead for the Australian cricket team."
Earlier this week, Langer's friend and former teammate Adam Gilchrist said growing speculation around his position could "derail the summer", while urging Cricket Australia to stamp out leaks to the media.
"The bigger issue... is the fact these journalists have a direct line of contact with people within the inner sanctum there, and the people in that inner sanctum are happy to let it get out," he said.