Australian Cricket legend Shane Warne has criticised Cricket Australia (CA) for the way they handled former coach Justin Langer’s contract, after which he was left with little choice but to resign.
Langer resigned as Australia’s head coach on Saturday after CA offered him a mere six-month contract extension despite him having recently coached the Australian men’s side to T20 World Cup and Ashes victories.
In an interview with Fox Sports on Tuesday, Warn described this deal as “a bit of an insult.”
“The handling of this is just absolutely disgraceful, what Cricket Australia have done,” he said.
Warn also said he was shocked by the power the players have to apparently weigh in on coaching matters.
“Justin Langer might be intense, he might be too harsh, he might be brutal but, you know what? The players might have needed it because they weren’t performing,” Warne said
Warne noted that the players might not like it, but it’s all about the results, and Australian men’s cricket is clearly in better shape now than before Langer took the post in 2018, so he can’t believe Langer was only offered six months.
He said that Cricket Australia’s treatment of Langer demonstrates that the players are now “calling the shots.”
“Something is not quite right there,” he said.
Australian men’s cricket captain Pat Cummins has been criticised over the past few days for his possible role in the decision, but Warne defended him, saying he was in a difficult situation.
He said that if Cummins had said he supported Langer, and yet CA decided not to extend Langer’s contract, then the new coach would know that the captain wanted someone else.
Conversely, if Cummins had suggested finding someone else because it was time for a change, but Cricket Australia had stuck with Langer, then the coach would know that he didn’t have his captain’s support.
“So he was in a really tough spot,” Warne said.
In a Linkedin post on Sunday, Langer explained why he resigned and reflected on his time with the squad.
“On Friday night, I was offered a short-term contract until the end of the T2o World Cup in Australia, with the sentiment of ‘going out on a high’,” Langer said.
“After careful consideration, I have decided not to accept this contract renewal, and as a result, I believe it is in everyone’s best interests for the Australian cricket team to begin the next chapter immediately.”
He said that if media reports are accurate, several senior players and some support staff didn’t support him going forward, and he understood that the CA Board and CEO, Nick Hockley, also wanted the team to head in a different direction.
“I respect that decision, ” Langer said. “My life has been built on values of honesty, respect, trust, truth, and performance and if that comes across as “too intense” at times, I apologize.”
He added that he felt blessed to have been part of a T20 and Ashes-winning squad, as well as watch the team rise to number one in the world.
“Australian cricket means the world to me. It has since I was a kid, and I am grateful for the opportunity to play for, and coach our national team,” he said.
“I am thankful to the Board for the opportunity, and I will take with me many cherished memories and friendships from the last four years.”
He ended the post by saying he hoped a good job had been done, and that he would reflect on the past and contemplate the next chapter of his life.