Chappell blasts 'Justin Langer PR machine'

4 months ago 94
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Cricket legend Ian Chappell has taken the "Justin Langer PR machine" to task following a tumultuous week around the game in Australia.

Langer sensationally quit his post as coach of the national men's team on Saturday, a day after Cricket Australia offered him a measly six-month contract extension when he wanted the job long-term.

In the 72 hours since the news broke, a swathe of former Test players have come out swinging in support of Langer, taking aim at the governing body and at current players.

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The gripe with the current playing group is the fact almost none of them publicly backed Langer in the weeks leading up to his ugly exit, despite repeated opportunities to do so when speaking to journalists.

Justin Langer and Ian Chappell. (Getty)

New Test captain Pat Cummins has worn the brunt of the anger, led by a bitter Mitchell Johnson column in a WA newspaper in which he labelled Cummins "gutless" for his relative silence on the matter.

Tellingly, most of the Langer support has come from Western Australia - his home state - and from retired cricketers he used to play with.

Chappell, though, can't cop the criticism being aimed at Cummins and his comrades.

"It's easy to lambast Cricket Australia, because they are not very good, and it was only to be expected, their reaction," Chappell told Wide World of Sports.

"But what annoys me is two things – the fact Pat Cummins, who has probably been as honest as you can be in this sort of thing, that he's copped a bit of a pasting… and the Justin Langer PR machine has been at work, and in a lot of cases that's been believed.

"They (former players) are going to do what they're going to do, that is entirely up to them."

Cummins was one of three players - alongside then-Test captain Tim Paine, and white-ball captain Aaron Finch - who took part in a mediation with Langer and Cricket Australia bosses mid-last year.

Cummins refuses to endorse Langer

The result of that meeting was Langer agreed to relinquish some coaching duties to his assistants, and give power back to the senior players.

Australia won a Twenty20 World Cup and an Ashes series in the months that followed that decision, before Langer was ultimately pushed out of the chair.

In between those victories, Cummins replaced Paine as Test captain. Paine has a close relationship with Langer, but it's believed Cummins and the coach were not as tight.

Chappell says Cummins should absolutely have a say in who coaches the Test team.

"To me the important thing is Cricket Australia have got to ask two questions when they appoint a new captain… firstly say to him 'do you want a coach?', and in every case nowadays people will say yeah they want a coach. In that case ask 'OK, who do you want?'" Chappell said.

What staggers Chappell amid Langer-CA wrestle

"And within reason I think the captain has got to get the coach that he gets on with, and works well with.

"I just don't understand why a captain isn't going to have any input into the coach. Why, for instance, do you appoint a new captain and then he's got to have the previous coach? He doesn't get any say in it, well that's bollocks in my opinion.

"Pat Cummins will know a lot more about cricket than the (administrators) at Cricket Australia on the board. Pat Cummins would know more about cricket than most."

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