Australia’s chairman of selectors, George Bailey, has thrown his weight behind Justin Langer following the 51-year-old’s exit as the head coach of the national side. While admitting that the whole episode shouldn’t have been played out in public, Bailey also dismissed suggestions that the players were responsible for Langer not getting his contract extended.
“I feel for him,” Bailey said. “Absolutely no one deserves to have the saga that has been played out as publicly as it has been. He didn’t get the length of contract extension he was after and it hasn’t been ideal. I don’t subscribe to the fact that it was individuals that were key to making the decision.”
Bailey also recalled Langer’s first day at the office after being appointed as the Australian coach where the former left-hander reiterated the importance of earning respect with the Australian public. “Funnily enough through a bit of a quirk of fate and I can’t remember why it was but I was actually present in Brisbane the day JL (Justin Langer) first spoke to the Australian group when he first took on the role,” Bailey said. “I feel like I was there for day one of the journey despite coming on in this role halfway through.
“Vividly remember his two points that day – where he wanted the team to earn respect with Australians and he wanted to develop great cricketers and great people. And I think he has absolutely done that. The team has done that. JL has done that.”
Post Langer’s resignation, some of his former teammates have come out in support and have also taken shots at the current crop of players including newly appointed Test skipper Pat Cummins. “I get that people, there’s a number of ex players who are working in the media and that’s part of their role is to have strong opinions,” he observed. “The other thing is that it’s hard as a past player to keep your finger completely on the pulse of what’s going on within the team.
“So a lot of their opinions can be based on hearsay and second and third hand information, so I always encourage those players to reach out and get a good understanding of what’s happening. To be perfectly honest I don’t know if there has been any fallout in that relationship, I don’t know if Pat has read it, has taken any notice of it, so not sure.”