Cricket Australia suffered a PR disaster when Justin Langer decided not to take the six-month contract extension offered by the board, and then lambasted the board for not recognising the effort. He found support from the former players with many of them criticizing the current lot of players for not being able to cope with Justin Langer’s philosophy.
Langer took charge of the side after the controversial sandpaper-gate episode in South Africa, which saw the then captain Steven Smith, his deputy David Warner and opening batter Cameron Bancroft receive length bans for their involvement in planning and executing tampering with the ball during the Cape Town Test against South Africa. Then he led a cultural shift in the side with Tim Paine and Aaron Finch for company.
However, as the reports of rift emerged, players decided not to talk about it openly and things stood on the gray area but the second season of the documentary ‘The Test’ has provided a peek into the episode.
“He wanted to keep coaching. It was a bit of a kick in the face to offer him a six-month contract. He lost a fair few players, and probably the wrong players,” Warner said in the documentary.
AAP reported that the documentary has players speak about the incident in detail, with Cummins was seen saying players were “walking on eggshells” around the coach, while Usman Khawaja revealed that many players were afraid of Langer.
“The Ashes, it all came to a head because his contract came up,” Cummins told viewers. “There was nothing out of the blue. We had spoken about a lot of these things over the previous 18 months to two years. He was brilliant when we needed him in those initial years.”
“The team had changed a lot over a four-year period,” Josh Hazlewood added. “We were probably in need of a different support staff and different coach, as opposed to four years ago when JL started.”