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No change in Langer's contract status despite T20 World Cup and Ashes glory

Matter to be discussed when the time is right, says Test captain Pat Cummins after retaining Ashes at MCG

Alex Malcolm
28-Dec-2021
Cummins on Langer's contract: "We'll savour this victory today and continue for the Ashes and I don't think today's the day to speculate on that"  •  AFP/Getty Images

Cummins on Langer's contract: "We'll savour this victory today and continue for the Ashes and I don't think today's the day to speculate on that"  •  AFP/Getty Images

Despite Australia retaining the Ashes in just 11 days and one session of action, that too only a month-and-a-half after winning the T20 World Cup title, there is no update on head coach Justin Langer's contract situation, with Test captain Pat Cummins choosing not to use the moment to endorse him for a second term beyond mid-2022.
"I think we'll savour this victory today and continue for the Ashes and I don't think today's the day to speculate on that," Cummins said. "I think we'll sit down all together after this series or whenever I think his tenure is up or his contract is up for renewal in a few months, I think we'll visit that then."
Cummins' straight bat followed Cricket Australia CEO Nick Hockley's answer to the same question on Boxing Day. "We always said we're going to be really focused on the two upcoming campaigns," Hockley had said. "That's the T20 World Cup and the T20 team did fantastically to bring that trophy home and same for the Ashes.
"I know JL, I know the team, they are very, very focused on this series and what we have said before the summer, we'll be sitting down at the end of the season, to review where we go from there."
But England's capitulation inside 12 days of this Ashes series and Australia's performance in the T20 World Cup have accelerated a conversation that had been kicked down the road ever since player relations with the coach came to a head following poor tours of Bangladesh and West Indies in the middle of the year.
The firestorm that followed, forced Hockley and CA to make a statement confirming that Langer would be the coach for the T20 World Cup and the Ashes and would see out his current deal, which is due to run till June 2022.
But since then, the team has performed like a well-oiled machine and Langer has shown an ability to reshape his own coaching style to foster a calmer environment. Langer has made no secret of the fact that he was keen to continue in the role as Australia's head coach for all three formats, stating as much in the lead-up to the Boxing Day Test.
Langer has delegated far more often to his assistants with CA having placed a very experienced team of coaches around him. He has also allowed the players to take control of their own preparations more than ever before
"I've never thought differently, to be honest," he had said. "I've been consistent with what I've said for the last four years. I love my job. And the boys are playing well. No doubt about it. It's a great team to be involved in. Nothing's changed from my point of view."
He has made a significant case to continue given he has done exactly what was asked of him by the playing group, and success has followed. Langer has delegated far more often to his assistants with CA having placed a very experienced team of coaches around him. He has also allowed the players to take control of their own preparations more than ever before. The selection panel, of which he is a key voice, has also performed well, selecting a batting-heavy side with great success at the World Cup in the UAE. And the selections of Marcus Harris, Travis Head and Alex Carey in contentious roles for the Ashes have all paid off while they were also brave enough to make a left-field selection in Scott Boland for the MCG Test, which Cummins was full of praise for.
"The three selectors deserve a whole amount of credit," Cummins said. "They've really picked a horses-for-courses-type selection with Scotty."
Australia are now set to play two limited-overs series against New Zealand and Sri Lanka before the end of the home summer. They will then have to split into two squads, which will require two different coaching groups, as the Test team is scheduled to tour Pakistan while a T20 team plays in New Zealand in late February-early March.

Alex Malcolm is an Associate Editor at ESPNcricinfo