Following the retirement of Australia’s head coach Justin Langer, Australian Test and One-day International (ODI) captain Pat Cummins allegedly spoke with former great Adam Gilchrist to allay any concerns and mend the divide between current and past players.
The Australian team was coached by Langer from 2018 until the home team won the Ashes 4-0 in early 2022. It is said that Langer did not get along well with the senior players, which occasionally led to crises.
The former opening batsman was then presented with a six-month contract extension through the T20 World Cup by Cricket Australia, but he turned it down and decided to resign before the vital away Test series against Pakistan.
A report in ‘The Age’ said on Saturday that, “Current players and support staff believe there is an ‘agenda’ behind the pile-on. They believe Langer’s former teammates are using their media profiles to continue the feud that erupted at the end of the Ashes (between senior players and Langer) in January.”
It is in this backdrop that ‘The Age’ reported that Cummins had met Langer’s former team-mate Adam Gilchrist in the first act of a “diplomatic campaign to ease the tension between past and current players stemming from the messy departure of former coach Justin Langer”.
The source noted that neither Cummins nor Gilchrist made any comments regarding the gathering in Adelaide before Australia’s first ODI match against England played this week. It also stated that the Test captain will have numerous encounters with previous greats “to mend the divide.”
Former greats had justification to criticise Aaron Finch’s team and lay the blame for Australia’s disastrous performance in the T20 World Cup at home on Justin Langer’s gradual exit.
Former great and Fox Sports commentator Mark Waugh said in his column for The Daily Telegraph that, “Justin Langer may be gone, but his shadow still hangs over Australian cricket.” He added that there was a perceptible disconnect between the team and its fans since the players forced Langer out.
“The perception from the outside among ex-cricketers is that the line is a bit blurred at the moment and there are questions about whether (current coach Andrew) McDonald is too friendly and matey with all the players and is not going to make the hard decisions.”
(inputs from IAN)