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News

Langer 'not edgy' about his future as calls to re-sign him grow louder

Australia coach is prepared to wait for discussions with CA on his contract after winning the T20 World Cup and the Ashes in a four-month stretch

Alex Malcolm
19-Jan-2022
Pat Cummins and Justin Langer hug after Australia's MCG win, Australia vs England, 3rd Test, Melbourne, 3rd day, December 28, 2021

Pat Cummins and Justin Langer hug after Australia's MCG win  •  AFP/Getty Images

Australia coach Justin Langer says he is not nervous about his upcoming contract discussions with Cricket Australia despite the ongoing speculation about his future as coach of Australia's men's team.
Langer's current contract runs out mid-year and there has been no move to renew it as yet with both CA and Langer committing to holding off discussions until after the completion of the Ashes. He is yet to formally speak to CA despite Australia wrapping up the Ashes 4-0 on Sunday night.
Australia won both the T20 World Cup and the Ashes in a stellar four months of cricket after doubts were raised about Langer's position following rumblings of player discontent at the end of two poor limited-overs tours of the Caribbean and Bangladesh in August 2021.
Langer was asked to change his coaching style following individual meetings with up to 30 players who had been involved in the men's program across all three forms. He heeded the advice during the World Cup and the Ashes and the results have been self-evident.
Speaking on SEN on Wednesday Langer said he was content with the team's performance over the last four months and was not worried about the upcoming discussions on his future.
"No never edgy, whatever happens," Langer said. "Before the World Cup and before these Ashes, we've never ever been better prepared. It's not a coincidence we've had the success we've had.
"Whatever happens from now we can all be incredibly proud of this little period. We had two missions to win the World Cup and to win the Ashes, to do that in such a short period is a monumental effort and we're all really satisfied with that, we're all really happy with that, we're all really proud of that. I sit here at the moment feeling really content with the last two series."
Australia captain Pat Cummins said during the fifth Test in Hobart that the team was eager for clarity on Langer's future, while former Australia greats Ricky Ponting, Steve Waugh and Shane Warne have questioned the delay in contract discussions in various media outlets and have all urged CA to resign him immediately.
Adam Gilchrist joined the chorus on Twitter on Wednesday following Langer's interview with SEN.
Former Australian coach Darren Lehmann has been the only dissenting voice telling Fox Sports that he has told Langer privately to go out on a high as four years in the job is long enough.
Langer, who has made it clear he wants to continue, said he is committed to CA's timeline and will wait for discussions to begin over the coming weeks.
"The absolute truth and people don't seem to believe this, but the absolute truth is before the World Cup and the Ashes we all committed to, at the end of the Ashes, sit down and have some conversations," he said. "It's been four really big years. It's an all-encompassing job, and it's a tough gig. That's just the truth. We all just said we'd sit down after the Ashes. In the next little bit, I'm sure those conversations will start to be had. There's plenty to be spoken about."
Meanwhile, Australia's three-match ODI series with New Zealand has been officially postponed due to uncertainty over quarantine. That means Australia's next assignment is five home T20Is against Sri Lanka. Australia's Test team will then head to Pakistan in late February for three Tests while a T20 squad is scheduled to head to New Zealand for a three-match T20I series at the same time, however that series is also in doubt due to New Zealand's quarantine rules. Australia's limited-overs specialists will then head to Pakistan for three ODIs and one T20I in late March-early April.
Langer is intent on taking the Test side to Pakistan as he believes Australia's next frontier is winning away from home.
"It's the next challenge," Langer said. "We've done some extraordinary things the last few months. But we haven't played much Test cricket over the last couple of years because of the Covid situation. Our next big challenge is to start winning overseas now. We're all aware of that, we've got a really good team. So many guys have stepped up this summer and it's so exciting to watch, it's been an incredible brand of cricket. We're excited about our next big challenge of winning Test matches overseas."
Complicating matters further for Langer is he can't get back home to Perth for a rest to see his family. The entire Australian squad has left Hobart with six Test players set to play in the BBL while others have headed home for a rest.
Western Australia's hard border due to Covid means that Langer can't get back home until February 5. He has instead remained in Hobart on his own and will catch up with former Australia captain Tim Paine on Thursday.
"The hardest thing is I just can't get back to Perth," Langer said. "All the boys have gone home. I can't get home until at least the fifth of February. Having not seen my family since September, I'm counting the days to get home."

Alex Malcolm is an Associate Editor at ESPNcricinfo