Justin Langer has hit out at the “bullshit politics” within Cricket Australia, taking particular aim at interim chairman Richard Freudenstein. Langer quit as coach of Australia in February after being offered a six-month contract extension despite guiding the team to T20 World Cup and Ashes glory.
A rumoured breakdown in the relationship between Langer and a core of senior players led to CA’s move to push the 51-year-old towards the exit. A host of Australia’s greatest Test players, including Mark Waugh, Adam Gilchrist, Ricky Ponting, Steve Waugh, Matthew Hayden and the late Shane Warne, lambasted CA for the way it treated Langer.
The anger Langer felt about his treatment from CA was still evident on Wednesday when he recalled the conversation he had with Freudenstein the day after he quit as Australia coach.
“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 told a Chamber of Commerce and Industry WA event in Perth.
“I said, ‘Yeah it is, 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 have’.
“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 bullshit politics.”
Australia have since appointed Andrew McDonald as Langer’s replacement. After resigning, Langer’s name was immediately linked to the England coaching position. Langer, whose pride and passion for Australia is renowned, made it crystal clear he never considered the role.
“I’ve never spoken to English cricket,” Langer said. “The thought of coaching England [shakes his head fervently] … mate!”
Langer is unsure what his next move will be, but said staying in Western Australia with his family is his priority. “I love WA. I love being home. I haven’t been home for 31 years,” he said.
Langer, who is a board member at AFL club West Coast, backed Eagles chief executive Trevor Nisbett and coach Adam Simpson despite the disastrous 1-9 start to the year.