Australia’s chairman of selectors George Bailey doesn’t believe in the theory that a small group of players and staff were responsible for Justin Langer’s departure as head coach while Usman Khawaja believes Test captain Pat Cummins or limited-overs captain Aaron Finch must answer some queries to end the reports of false rumors.
The current Australian players and staff have attracted attention due to their collective silence in the days following Langer’s resignation on Saturday morning. Ricky Ponting did voice his opinion on the matter while on a radio show.
Bailey revealed that he was consulted by Cricket Australia chief executive Nick Hockley and head of national teams Ben Oliver about Langer’s role but he did not believe the ongoing reports that a “faceless few” individuals played a major role in the coach not getting a long-term contract.
I don’t think Langer must apologize for being ‘too intense’ – Bailey
“I was consulted,” Bailey said. “I’m led to believe that it was a very, very broad consultation. It went wide. Again, I’ve been consulted back since the middle of last year,” Bailey said. I don’t subscribe to the fact that there was individuals that were key to making the decision.”
Speaking on Langer’s apology in his letter of resignation, Bailey said, “In JL’s letter that he apologised for being too intense, I mean, I don’t think that’s something he had to apologise for,” Bailey said. “One if he felt that way, but two, I don’t think he was too intense.”
“It’s hard as a past player to keep your finger completely on the pulse of what’s going on within the team,” Bailey said. “A lot of their opinions can be based on hearsay and second and third-hand information. So I would always encourage those players to reach out and get a good understanding of what’s happening.”
JL brought ‘humility’ into the Australian team – Khawaja
Both Khawaja and Bailey stated that they had contacted Langer since his resignation. Notably, both lauded the departed coach for bringing humility back to Australia’s men’s cricket team.
“One thing that I do love JL for, what I feel he bought back into Australia was humility,” Khawaja said. “I felt like he brought humility back in the Australian cricket team. You talk about legacy, for me, that’s one thing that he’s left behind. Because I know what we were playing like before he was coach, and I know what we were playing like after he became coach. So I haven’t said that to him yet. So I’m saying it to you guys.”
“I sort of feel like I was there for day one of the journey despite coming on in this role halfway through. But I vividly remember his two points that day. 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. I think the team have done that. JL has done that. The staff around the team have done that.”