Former Australian cricket coach Justin Langer has revealed the moment he clashed with interim Cricket Australia chairman Richard Freudenstein following his highly-publicized resignation.
In February, the 51-year-old stepped down as national men’s coach after rejecting a six-month contract extension, hoping instead to be offered a multi-year deal.
Langer’s contract was slated to expire in June, but the writing was on the wall following a breakdown in his relationship with senior players, who had become worn down by his overbearing style and intense attitude.
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Several Australian cricket icons jumped to Langer’s defense, questioning how a national coach could win a T20 World Cup title and Ashes series before essentially giving him no other option but to quit.
Speaking at a Chamber of Commerce and Industry WA event in Perth on Wednesday, Langer detailed a heated conversation with Freudenstein the day after he resigned.
“The first thing he said to me was: ‘It must make you feel so good that all your mates are supporting you in the media,'” Langer began.
“I said: ‘Yeah it’s acting chairman, but with all due respect, those mates are also the all-time greats of Australian cricket. They are the fabric of Australian cricket. They are Australian cricket. They also work all around the world in cricket. So yeah, I’m glad my mates are looking after me. Imagine if you had had. ‘
“Ironically, the last six months of my coaching career were the most enjoyable period of 12 years of coaching.
“Not only did we win everything, but I had energy, and I had focus, and I was happy – besides the bulls *** politics.”
CA confirmed last month that Andrew McDonald, who was acting as interim coach after Langer resigned, had been appointed the new national men’s head coach.
The 40-year-old joined Australia’s coaching staff in 2019 after stints in charge of Victoria and the Melbourne Renegades.
McDonald mentored Australia during the recent tour of Pakistan, the site’s first Test series victory in Asia since 2011.
“The journey so far has been particularly pleasing, and I am honored to be given this incredible opportunity for what is an exciting period ahead,” McDonald said.
“The success of the World Cup, the Ashes series and now Pakistan has been testament to the hard work and leadership of Justin, Pat (Cummins) and Aaron (Finch) along with the players and the support staff.
“My plan is to build on the growth, depth and experience of the squad while working collectively with the group and across the game. There are many challenges in the short-term which I know excites the leadership group, the players and the staff. ”
Australian Test captain Pat Cummins was reluctant to endorse Langer as coach last summer, but the pace bowler was full of praise for McDonald following the historic 1-0 series triumph in Pakistan.
“He’s been fantastic, which is not unexpected,” Cummins said in March.
“He’s just a great operator. The boys absolutely love him. He’s very diligent, very thorough and strategic and organized. He’s a huge part of this tour win. It’s not my place to employ the coach, but ‘Ronnie’ has been fantastic. ”
Australia will embark on a multi-format tour of Sri Lanka next month.