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November 14, 2012
Justin Langer has been confirmed as Western Australia's new coach, leaving his role as an assistant with the national team to try to improve the state side's fortunes after almost a decade without a domestic trophy and widely known cultural problems.
The announcement, which also has Langer taking up the job as coach of the Perth Scorchers in the BBL, arrived the day after Australia drew the first Test with South Africa in Brisbane. Langer will be in place as coach of the Warriors in time for Saturday's domestic limited overs match against South Australia in Perth.
He has been contracted until the end of the 2015-16 season, offering Langer the chance to work with and improve the the team's results over a lengthy term.
Noted for his heavy emphasis on team-work and the mental side of the game, Langer has the job ahead of him to build a WA side in his own determined and dedicated image, following a dire start to the season that included widely publicised disciplinary problems at the T20 Champions League in South Africa and three outright losses to start the Sheffield Shield.
"I am really thrilled to be taking up the position as Warriors and Scorchers Head Coach and feel that the energy for my work will be doubled now that I am back home around my family, my cricket friends and my personal friends," Langer said.
"I have two main objectives. The first is to bring cricket back to life in Western Australia, and the second is to help these boys become men on and off the cricket field.
"I was very fortunate to serve an apprenticeship with the Australian team and I can't wait to roll up my sleeves and get started on this new challenge at what promises to be an exciting time in WA cricket."
Dennis Lillee, the WACA president, said Langer's fortunes would be dictated as much by the ability of the players and support staff to work hard with him as it would be the coach's responsibility alone.
"Some issues relating to the underlying culture within the Warriors and Scorchers have been identified recently and Justin's appointment is the first step we are taking to bring back a strong culture to the WACA," Lillee said.
"We must go forward and no one needs to be reminded of Justin's outstanding credentials. He is a steely, dedicated man of cricket with a no-nonsense approach and is exactly what we need to turn this talented Western Australian side into a committed team using all of its natural talent.
"However it can't just be the coach that turns things around. We need players to put up their hands to be positive and tough leaders within this group going forward."
Having retired from a decorated international career at the conclusion of the 2006-07 Ashes series in Australia, Langer returned to the national set-up as batting coach in November 2009. Since then he has applied for various coaching jobs, including WA's, and was also a candidate for the senior Australian coaching job when Mickey Arthur replaced Tim Nielsen in 2011.
In replacing Langer, Cricket Australia will employ the Centre of Excellence coach Stuart Law as a batting assistant this summer, and may then look further afield for a longer term replacement. Pat Howard, the team performance manager, described Law's tenure as a "try before you buy" scenario for the national team.
"Stuart was there all week, we obviously knew this a little bit prior [to the announcement], and so he's had a full week of training with the Test team all last week," Howard said.
"Stuart's a really solid individual and has made a real impact. The fact he's got experience not only in Australia but on the subcontinent and England to help deal with players of the future, and he's got an impact now to work over the next couple of weeks with the players of now.
Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets hereFeeds: Daniel Brettig
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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