Cricket's 'shame' as Langer's tenure implodes

2 months ago 11
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Australian captain Tim Paine (left) and coach Justin Langer.

Australian Test captain Tim Paine has come to the defence of under-fire coach Justin Langer, admitting to "robust conversations" over his future.

Langer's position is quickly becoming untenable, with almost daily revelations of friction between the former opener and the playing group.

The latest was a report in the Sydney Morning Herald that Langer negotiated his own fee to appear in the Amazon Prime documentary The Test, leaving the players to look after themselves.

The move backfired when the players were paid double what Langer earned, and he now concedes he "should have reacted differently."

Australian captain Tim Paine (left) and coach Justin Langer. (AAP)

It followed reports of a blow-up between Langer and a Cricket Australia staffer during the recent tour of Bangladesh.

"There's no hiding from it, it's been a tough week, certainly a lot tougher for Justin Langer than anyone else," Paine told SEN Radio.

"From a story out of Bangladesh about an argument with an in-house journo and then for it to open up a lot of old wounds in the media – albeit some had been leaked from where we think is inside – (I'm) disappointed in that.

"But at the end of the day, we've had discussions. The stuff that was reported if we're totally honest wasn't anything new, this is stuff that's been dragged up from an Ashes series two or three years ago."

Under-fire Australian coach Justin Langer (Getty)

Cricket Australia issued a statement earlier this week publicly backing Langer, and followed that up with a meeting between chief executive Nick Hockley, chairman Earl Eddings, Paine, Aaron Finch and Pat Cummins to thrash out the issue.

Paine says he's been in contact with Langer, who is in quarantine following Australia's disastrous T20 campaign against the West Indies and Bangladesh.

"We've had ongoing discussions with 'JL', JL's had ongoing discussions with me and his players about us always wanting to get better," Paine said.

"It's just been a bit of a shame I think in the last week that a lot of the failings around Australian cricket have been pinned on JL. That's certainly not the case."

At a training camp on the Gold Coast prior to the team's departure for the Caribbean, Langer was given some "confronting" feedback about his leadership style, vowing to change his ways.

Australia coach Justin Langer after game one of the Twenty20 series last summer. (Cricket Australia via Getty Imag)

That promise is one reason the confrontation with a staffer in Bangladesh has been so publicly dissected.

The fact that a player leaked details of the incident will be especially concerning to Langer and Cricket Australia, ahead of an important period for the game.

The T20 World Cup, which Australia has never won, takes place in October/November, to be followed by a home defence of the Ashes.

"We've had some really robust conversations amongst our leaders in the last few days and we're really looking forward to the next six months with JL," Paine explained.

"We're looking forward to the World Cup, we're looking forward to the Ashes, it's an exciting period for any cricketer. If anything, I think we're heading into that tournament and series even more galvanised and even more together."

Justin Langer fumes at former teammate, now ICC match referee, David Boon. (Fox Cricket)

Paine said it was beneficial to have a "tough and robust" conversation between the leaders of the playing group and CA heavyweights.

"It was important that myself, Aaron Finch, Pat Cummins and the leaders of Australian cricket got around him, discussed things that needed to be discussed, and then got around him and supported him and looked to move forward," Paine said.

"There's no doubt the week has been difficult for him, but as I said the last few days, we've been able to galvanise around him and have some really robust discussions on where we want to take this cricket team, what we expect of him and what he expects of us."

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