Michael Vaughan has issued an ominous warning to Cricket Australia while imploring the England Cricket Board to ‘sign’ Justin Langer if he is shown the door on Friday.
Less than 24 hours after the ECB sacked Chris Silverwood following the Ashes’ 4-0 loss to England, a meeting of the board of directors will determine the fate of Langer’s coaching tenure.
Although Langer’s four-year contract, worth an estimated $900,000 a year, doesn’t expire until June, it’s likely he’ll either be renewed long-term or leave early with his untenable position.
Everything points to Langer being forced out of his dream role, weeks after retaining the Ashes and months after leading Australia’s maiden T20 World Cup campaign.
For the third time in five weeks, Langer’s captain Pat Cummins has refused to approve his manager’s reappointment.
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Although Cummins said it was CA’s job to make the decision, it’s what the new Australian skipper didn’t say that tells you everything.
Like the australian Chief cricket writer Peter Lalor began his column: “This situation is beyond recovery.”
Yet Vaughan, who played against Langer and watched Team Australia go about their business all summer, left CA with an ominous warning.
“Sometimes you have to be careful what you wish for. They might soon find out that the grass isn’t greener without Langer.
“You can’t go against the results. He won the Ashes series convincingly, he drew England, won the T20 World Cup when Australia weren’t supposed to.
“Obviously he’s doing something right.”
Vaughan thinks the ECB should pay close attention to Friday’s board meeting and sign the former Australian fly-half should he be sent off.
“My personal wish is that England will closely monitor events in Australia on Friday and act quickly if Justin Langer leaves his post,” writes Vaughan.
“Langer’s future is set to be decided at a Cricket Australia board meeting, but his time as head coach appears to be over.
“If that’s the case, I don’t see anyone better placed than Langer to rack their brains and bring some tough management to a group of England players who have become too comfortable recently.
“This England test team needs a little love. Joe Root also needs a strong manager at his side. Gary Kirsten would also be a great fit, but if you want someone to come with a massive point to prove, it’s Langer. He’s an Ashes winner, T20 World Cup winner and knows all about the game in Australia. Just go get him.
Langer’s future with the Australian team can only come down to a personality clash.
When Langer was told he might need to apply for the role, which left the former fly-half seething, he only had to show results for the past six months.
Langer was also the first Australian manager to travel to England since 2001 and get a result in 2019, with their best draw streak in 18 years.
Although Langer has delegated more in the past six months since crisis meetings in August between the coach and key players, a number of players have been unable to move past his behavior which has been described as volatile .
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Vaughan, however, says the current England squad need “tough love” and Langer would be the perfect fit for an underperforming side.
“English cricket needs a reality check,” Vaughan continued.
“It’s not about being comfortable and nice to each other.
“To win, sometimes you have to be nervous.
“In white-ball cricket, it’s different. You have to be flamboyant, fearless and reckless. But in test cricket, it’s about discipline and delivery over long periods. The only way to do that is to do the basics for hours. This stems from training and a strong work ethic around the team.
“You also need to get rid of excuses like blaming bubbles and schedules. Langer would eliminate excuses. It would command immediate respect. He has won everything in his playing life and now he is a very experienced coach. He had ups and downs. You have to have those disappointments to be successful and being told over the last 12 months that he was too intense and had to delegate was good for him.
“It seems to me that he learned from that. But at the start, England might need the former Langer for a while, the one who is totally responsible and disciplinary.
“England will deny there was a culture of drinking in Australia and that they weren’t too soft, but I don’t care because clearly something was wrong.
“They need a three-year plan to produce good Test cricket over a long period home and away, not just to win at home.”
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