Why CA boss decided Langer's time was up

4 months ago 91
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Cricket Australia board member Mike Baird says the call to axe Justin Langer as national coach was made by chief executive Nick Hockley, refusing to confirm whether or not the board gave unanimous backing to the decision.

Langer quit on Saturday after being offered a token six month contract extension, having overseen T20 World Cup and Ashes series victories in recent months.

Notably, the current players, led by Test captain Pat Cummins, refused to back Langer in public when asked about the coach's future, with the 51-year-old's moodiness and habit of micromanaging seen as the biggest stumbling blocks.

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Speaking to Radio 2GB's Ben Fordham, Baird paid tribute to Langer, a 105 Test veteran, but noted an accomplished playing career doesn't always guarantee success as a coach.

"Justin Langer is an incredible Australian. He's proved himself on the cricket field in ways that have inspired a generation," Baird said.

Justin Langer (Getty)

"That doesn't mean it necessarily translates into a coach. Clearly he's had some success, clearly the four years that he's overseen has been significant (in) transformation in some of the cultural challenges.

"He's done a good job, but the CEO has obviously run a process.

"It's not about the last four years, it's about the next four years and he's made a decision considering all stakeholders. Yes, team, also staff and a whole range of other people and made a decision that it is time to transition, which happens in sport."

Pressed by Fordham on whether or not the board was unanimous in backing Hockley's call, as Hockley has publicly claimed, Baird was playing a straight bat.

"I'm not going to talk about the board meetings. My comments stand. Cricket has taken a decision for the next four years," he said.

Cricket Australia board member Mike Baird. (Brook Mitchell)

The decision to sack Langer has caused howls of outrage from his former teammates, with cricket legend Ian Chappell telling Wide World of Sports the "Justin Langer PR machine" had been in overdrive.

One of Langer's closest friends, former Test captain Adam Gilchrist, labelled the decision "pathetic."

Baird said the rift between former and current players over the issue is sad to see.

"I wasn't involved in all the discussions but I think it is disappointing what's played out. It shouldn't diminish who Justin Langer is and what he's achieved in Australian cricket," he said.

Pat Cummins with Justin Langer. (Getty)

"There's a new team, a new coach that will be coming. In every way we should be thankful to Justin Langer, but obviously the decision of the CEO, consulting multiple opinions, was it was time to transition.

"Obviously he (Hockley) was hopeful that Justin would transition for an additional period.

"He's decided to leave and of course you respect that. But I've got nothing but respect and thanks for the incredible memories of Justin Langer."

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