‘Ugly’ fallout from Langer’s axing ‘grudge’

Former Australian all-rounder Simon O’Donnell has urged Justin Langer to “move on” from the way his time as national coach came to an end.

Langer claims he was blindsided by the decision earlier this year, where he was offered a six-month extension, having guided the team to victory in the T20 World Cup and the subsequent Ashes series.

He says he changed his coaching style after being confronted by the national captains at the time, Tim Paine and Aaron Finch, as well as their deputy Pat Cummins, who raised concerns about his intensity and mood swings.

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Langer’s comments drew an angry response from Cricket Australia boss Nick Hockley, who said the former coach’s claims were full of errors.

“We have not commented to date other than to correct inaccuracies, of which there are a number in Justin’s comments,” Hockley said.

“Regular formal and informal opportunities to provide and receive feedback took place throughout his tenure, which is consistent with a high performance environment.

“Following a comprehensive process, Justin was offered a short-term contract extension, which he rejected.

“I am disappointed by Justin’s comments unfairly criticizing some of our players. The playing group are aware they have my full support.”

In an interview with News Corp, Langer had called out the “cowards” who were leaking against him.

“Everyone was being nice to my face but I was reading about this stuff and half of it, I swear to God and on my kids’ lives, I could not believe that is what was making the papers,” Langer said.

“A lot of journalists use the word ‘source’. I would say, change that word to ‘coward’.

“A coward says, not a source. Because what do you mean a source says? They’ve either got an ax to grind with someone and they won’t come and say it to your face, or they’re just leaking stuff for their own agenda. I hate that.”

Speaking on SEN radio, O’Donnell said Langer risks tarnishing his legacy by continuing to speak out about his dumping.

“Unfortunately he hasn’t ridden off into the sunset, waved goodbye and enjoyed all he’s achieved,” O’Donnell said.

“That’s the ugly side of this. He’s got to be really careful not to lose the room.

“The key ingredient is the game is bigger than the individual. There’s a lot of people that have left Australian cricket over the journey and other sports disgruntled. It doesn’t mean you just roll it back out there and have your say.

“I’d like him to stop and if he needs to do anything about it, I think he needs to go through other channels other than just letting fly on podcasts or news services.”

O’Donnell said Langer risks tarnishing his legacy over his continued outbursts.

“He can be free to speak, I’m not saying he shouldn’t speak, that’s up to him,” he noted.

“But I think he loses relationships hand over fist the more he speaks about it, the longer the period is that he’s gone.

“You can’t just carry these grudges forever. You’ve got to move on and it’s taking him a while to move on.

“I love Justin Langer, I love what he did for Australian cricket, but Justin wasn’t sacked. Justin was offered a six-month extension to his contract which he didn’t agree with.

“At the end of the day, it came down to Justin saying, ‘Hey, I want longer than that’, and Cricket Australia said, ‘No, we think that’s the right period of time’.

“It wasn’t, ‘You’re out’. Let’s get it straight, Cricket Australia did say your tenure can continue, but he chose not to do that.”

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