The already tense situation between the Australian cricketers and former coach Justin Langer will reach boiling point after the former Test opener was confirmed as part of Channel 7’s commentary team.
Former Test batsman and Cricket Australia assistant coach Brad Haddin fears the war of words between players and Langer could get a lot uglier.
It’s likely Ricky Ponting will be key to resolving tensions between Justin Langer and Cricket Australia when the former team-mates reunite in media roles this summer.
Longtime Australian teammates Ponting and Langer developed a strong bond that could prove influential in the weeks to come.
Langer’s explosive interview about his ugly departure as manager has sparked a potential firestorm ahead of Australia’s first Test in Perth on Wednesday.
He berated players he called “cowards” for leaking to the media against him during his tenure.
Langer will be the focus of Channel 7’s coverage of the summer of testing, which begins in the 52-year-old’s home state and could attract additional attention.
“Punter kept JL very balanced,” a current player told the Sydney Morning Herald.
According to Brad Haddin, another member of the England World Cup and Ashes 2019 tour coaching staff, private talks between Langer and the current players are needed to break the cycle of negativity, which has reached new heights.
“It’s just a really ugly situation,” Haddin told Triple M.
“It’s been like this for some time now, it’s been like this for over 12 months. That takes it to a new level. He obviously lost the dressing room at some point during his tenure. Whatever your opinion, it happened, it’s a fact.
“But to still have that after 10 months, that’s a guy who’s played 100 Tests for Australia, he’s been a very successful coach. Yes, it ended in a mess and it looks like there’s a lot more to come
Despite the interview’s release, Langer and Cummins have been in touch for a few weeks.
Haddin said more private talks were needed to find a solution.
“I don’t know where they go from there, what they want as a final. Are we going to play this out in public, is it time they got behind closed doors and really screwed this up? he asked.
Because we all love the game and that hasn’t happened in a few weeks. There is obviously a lot of tension there and perhaps this can be the catalyst to end it.
Langer has dismissed suggestions after his interview that he is at war with Pat Cummins and other Australian cricketers.
He told 7News Perth: “Ironically speaking to Patty on Monday, we’ve had a long chat about how the team is doing, how he’s doing, how his family is doing. And some of that garbage is complete and utter garbage.
“I have so much respect for Patty Cummins, I think he’s a brilliant player, I think he’s an outstanding human being. So any thought that there is a war between Patty and I couldn’t be further from the truth.”