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Captains called to front CA over Langer concerns

“All we can do is try and get results. You see everywhere, if you get results, things look after themselves more often than not, don’t they?”

Last month, Finch said Langer had received “confronting” feedback from a detailed review of players and staff at a Gold Coast pre-tour camp.

Tension: Justin Langer and Tim Paine.

Tension: Justin Langer and Tim Paine.Credit:Getty Images

As one source close to the team said: “They [Cricket Australia] have spent $100,000 on reviews and keep getting the same result.”

Langer wields enormous power as a coach and selector, with players fearful of approaching him directly about his intense style.

During the documentary The Test, first aired in March last year, veteran batsman Usman Khawaja told Langer his players were “intimidated” by the coach and “walking on eggshells” during a team meeting in late 2018.

While there is an easy argument to suggest Khawaja’s form has cost him a place in the team, his absence from the dressing room is a constant reminder of what may happen to a player who takes a stand.

Bailey said players also had to take responsibility for the recent poor performance.

“Let’s not put this all on Justin,” Bailey said. “As a group, if you look back over the last 12 months, I don’t think the Australian cricket team, the T20 team or all formats, I don’t think we’ve quite played the best cricket or as good as we could have, we are constantly looking to get better on that front.

“JL took over at a pretty challenging period of time and since then there’s been a lot of permutations and change happen with the group and there’s no doubt that’s one of the reasons you periodically do full reviews of your set-up.

“There’s some new additions to that coaching staff that I think will be fantastic for the Australian cricket team, not only some great cricketing brains, but good leaders and coaches of people, so I don’t know how often we have to keep harping on that.”

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Ironically, it may not be coaching style and performance issues which dictate Langer’s future but the politics of Australian cricket.

Eddings’ campaign to be re-elected as CA chairman means that he is unlikely to act against Langer because he desperately needs Western Australia’s vote to retain the $250,000-a-year job after bitterly dividing the states.

Eddings needs votes from four of the six states to retain the role as chairman, but Queensland and NSW want him to go.

Those two states were angered by decisions made by the CA board when the COVID-19 virus took hold last year. CA shed 40 staff and threatened to break state associations with cuts of up to 50 percent. This had a serious, long-term impact on grassroots cricket in particular.

Western Australia is considered the swinging vote but WA Cricket Association chairman Terry Waldron came out in public support of Langer on Wednesday.

“The WACA, and myself personally, support Justin Langer in his position as Australian cricket coach,” Waldron said told the West Australian newspaper. And we strongly support him continuing in his role as Australian coach.”

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