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Channel Seven tells Australian Test cricket stars NOT to speak to Justin Langer on air

Test cricket stars have been informed they will not have to speak to Justin Langer on air during the summer series as the bitter feud between players and the former Australia manager intensifies.

Langer was free-to-air Channel 7’s award head for the summer tests against the West Indies and South Africa and set the stage for some awkward encounters with players he believes are behind him when he was unceremoniously sacked as manager.

And that was before his stunning outburst over the current players, whom he dubbed “cowards” for their role in his ousting from the side.

Luckily for those players, it turns out the broadcaster won’t force them to interact with their former coach on the air, according to News Corp.

With the Test series set to begin next Wednesday in Langer’s hometown of Perth, the former Baggy Green legend-turned-coach will sit behind the mic to add his expert analysis of the game.

Seven’s move could be related to fears Langer will use the platform to keep grinding his ax and clashing with the “cowards” he was alluding to.

“Everybody’s been nice to me, but I’ve been reading about this stuff,” Langer said on Wednesday’s explosive BackChat podcast episode.

“Many journalists use the word ‘source’. I would say change that word to “coward”. Because what do you mean by that, says a source?

“Either they’re dealing with someone, and they’re not going to come and tell you to your face, or they’re just divulging stuff for their own agenda,” was Langer’s astounding escalation of tension that had finally begun to simmer.

Langer also claimed none of Cricket Australia’s players or staff gave him any feedback on his intense coaching style.

“I spoke to Pat Cummins. He said to me about five times, “That might be brutally honest,” he said.

“I said, ‘Pat, your feedback isn’t brutal. What is brutal is that I hear it behind my back through the media or through sources. Nobody tells me. Tell me.”

The claim was firmly refuted by Cricket Australia CEO Nick Hockley, who was blunt about his “disappointment” at Langer’s comments.

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

“During his tenure, there have been regular formal and informal opportunities to give and receive feedback, consistent with a high-performing environment.

“After an extensive process, Justin was offered a short-term contract extension, which he declined.

“I am disappointed with Justin’s comments unfairly criticizing some of our players. The playgroup knows they have my full support,” Hockley said.

Skipper Pat Cummins – the player most in the spotlight after Langer’s ugly departure – is said to be “stunned” by Langer’s comments, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

Probably as players want to focus on the upcoming Test series against an increasingly unpredictable West Indies side.

Despite a whitewash of the ODI series against England, the Australia men’s side have found themselves in the headlines lately for a variety of negative reasons; whether because Cummins called for a $40 million energy sponsor to be dropped or insisted the roster was too “exhausted to care about the domestic T20 World Cup failure.”

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