Lingering question debunked amid Langer firestorm

4 months ago 97
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The Australian Cricketers' Association boss has denied players forced Justin Langer out of his job and claimed they thought "fondly" of him as the national men's coach.

ACA chief executive Todd Greenberg also reasoned that the players had "handled themselves very well throughout the situation" and argued there was "no one with a higher level of integrity" than Test captain Pat Cummins.

Matthew Hayden, Ricky Ponting, Shane Warne and Mitchell Johnson are among the Australian cricket greats to have lashed the influence of players in the demise of Langer.

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Greenberg has struck back in the wake of the exit of Langer, who resigned after being offered only a six-month contract extension and being told that the deal wouldn't be renewed again.

Todd Greenberg has slammed claims of player power following the exit of Justin Langer. (Getty)

"I've heard a few comments about player power. I certainly don't subscribe to that theory," Greenberg said on SEN radio.

"It's not a new phenomenon for players to be consulted about big issues around leadership of the cricket team.

"So I don't think that changes. I've said consistently in my short time in cricket that the players should have a voice and they should be consulted.

"I think both Pat and the players were put in a pretty tricky position where they've got obligations, obviously to the coach, who they think fondly of, but also they've got obligations to their employer, which is Cricket Australia."

Australia's playing group has been accused of ousting Justin Langer from his job by a host of cricket greats. (Getty)

Despite rejecting claims of player power, Greenberg suggested it'd be unwise to not consult with the players.

"We understand that we're not going to overreach. We're not at that decision-making table … and nor should we be," Greenberg said.

"(But) it would seem a little silly not to ask the players for their views on the way through."

Greenberg admitted it "could be the case" that Langer remained in his job if the players had backed him publicly, but he said if Cricket Australia then took an alternative route that the players would be in "an equally difficult position".

Cummins was given the chance on many occasions to endorse Langer publicly, but he chose not to on every occasion.

"One thing I've learnt dealing with Pat Cummins over the last 12 months is there's no one with a higher level of integrity," Greenberg said.

"And he's got firm views on how he sees the future of Australian cricket working and his role in that leadership.

"I think the players have handled themselves very well throughout the situation. There's been challenges and there always is challenges when you're confronting these sorts of situations.

"But there's never an easy answer."

Justin Langer resigns as Australian coach

Langer released an impassioned and lengthy statement on LinkedIn after relinquishing his post.

"If there's anything we all agree on it's that it's a sad day for Australian cricket," Greenberg said.

"It's also particularly sad for Justin the way it's all unfolded.

"To be quite frank, I think it could have been done better. And I think everyone has a role to play in that.

"But, ultimately, they're hard decisions that people have to make and sometimes those decisions prove very unpopular, as we're seeing."

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