Ricky Ponting to be peacemaker in Justin Langer and Cricket Australia ‘cowards’ stoush

Aussie cricket star warns there’s ‘a lot more to come’ in Justin Langer’s fight against ‘cowards’ who cost him his coaching job – as Ricky Ponting is touted as peacemaker this summer

  • Australia faces a civil war between former coach and players this summer 
  • Langer has been named as a new member of Channel 7’s commentary team
  • That puts him on a collision course with the players that had him ousted 
  • One former player believes things are going to get worse before they get better

The already-tense situation between Australian cricket players and former coach Justin Langer is to reach boiling point with the former Test opener confirmed to be part of Channel 7’s commentary team.

Former Test batsman and Cricket Australia assistant coach Brad Haddin fears the war of words between players and Langer could get a lot uglier. 

It is likely that Ricky Ponting will be key in solving the friction between Justin Langer and Cricket Australia as the former teammates re-unite in media roles this summer.

Former Australian cricketer Justin Langer pictured during an Australian Cricket Hall of Fame Presentation at Melbourne Cricket Ground

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Long-time Australian teammates Ponting and Langer developed a strong bond that could prove influential in the weeks ahead.

Langer’s explosive interview about his ugly exit as coach has sparked a potential firestorm ahead of Australia’s first Test in Perth on Wednesday.

He called out players he labelled as “cowards” for leaking against him to the media during his tenure.

Langer is set to take centre stage on Channel 7’s coverage of the Test summer, which starts in the 52-year-old’s home state and could attract extra attention. 

 ‘Punter kept JL very even,’ one current player told The Sydney Morning Herald.

According to Brad Haddin, another member of the coaching group for the England World Cup and Ashes tour in 2019, private talks between Langer and the current players are needed to break the cycle of negativity that have reached a new peak.

‘This is just a really ugly situation,’ Haddin told Triple M. 

‘This has been going on now for some time, this has been going on for over 12 months. That takes it to a new level. Obviously at some stage during his tenure he lost the change room. Whatever opinion you have on that, that’s happened, that’s fact.

‘But to have this still going on after 10 months, this is a guy that’s played 100 Tests for Australia, he’s been a very successful coach. Yes it ended messy and by the looks of it there’s still a lot more to come out

Australia's assistant coach Brad Haddin during a press conference at The Hampshire Bowl, Southampton

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Australia’s assistant coach Brad Haddin during a press conference at The Hampshire Bowl, Southampton

Despite the publication of the interview, Langer and Cummins have been in communication for some weeks.

Haddin said more private talks would be required to find a resolution. 

‘I don’t know where they go from there, what they want the end game to be. Do we want to play this out in the public is it time they do get behind closed doors and really nut this out?’ he asked.

Because we all love the game and this hasn’t been going on for a couple of weeks. There’s obviously a lot of tensions there, and maybe this can be the catalyst to end it.’

Australia's opening batsman Justin Langer (R) and captain Ricky Ponting (L) walk up the crease after Ponting was hit in the face by a ball from England's Steve Harmison

Australia’s opening batsman Justin Langer (R) and captain Ricky Ponting (L) walk up the crease after Ponting was hit in the face by a ball from England’s Steve Harmison

Langer has rejected suggestions that he is at war with Pat Cummins and other Australian cricketers after his interview. 

He told 7News Perth: ‘Ironically, I spoke to Patty on Monday, we had a long talk about how the team was going, how he’s going, how his family’s going. And some of this rubbish is complete and utter rubbish.

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‘I’ve got so much respect for Patty Cummins, I think he’s a brilliant player, I think he’s an outstanding human being. So any thought there’s war between Patty and I could not be further from the truth.’


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