"I could coach the Australian cricket team again, but I’m not sure it’ll ever happen" - Justin Langer 

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Justin Langer's tenure with Cricket Australia ended on a sour note

Former Australian opening batter Justin Langer has not shut the door on a potential return as head coach of the national side but admits that it would be a steep proposition given the nature of his exit. He served as Australia's head coach from 2018 to 2022, during a critical juncture in the team's rebuilding process.

Langer came to the fore in the aftermath of Australia's tour of South Africa four years ago, which comprised the infamous ball-tampering saga in Newlands. He took over from Darren Lehmann and had to work with a fresh captain in Tim Paine in the absence of senior members Steve Smith and David Warner.

While the journey came with its lows in the form of successive home Test series defeats to India, it glittered with memorable moments as well. The Aussies continued their good showing in ICC events under the former player, even adding a maiden T20 World Cup title to their trophy cabinet in 2021 in the process.

Noting that he would be open to coaching the team in the future as well, Langer said in an interview with CODE Sports:

"That’s a great question, nobody ever asked me that. Yeah, I could coach the Australian cricket team again, but I’m not sure it’ll ever happen. In fact, I’m so happy, I can’t remember being happier in my life than I have been the last eight to ten months.”

He chose to resign from his head coach position in February 2022 after only being awarded a six-month extension to his contract that ran until June 2022. He was replaced by Andrew McDonald, who served as an assistant coach during Langer's tenure.

"I’ve never enjoyed coaching more and I’ve still got sacked" - Justin Langer

Langer's stint as head coach of the Australian team was marred by accusations of him being 'too intense'. Several players brought the issue up to the board, who eventually sought a replacement by forcing the former batter out.

Claiming that being forced to resign despite finding success was the hardest pill to swallow, Langer said:

"We won the T20 World Cup, we won the Ashes. We were No. 1 in the world. I’ve never enjoyed coaching more and I’ve still got sacked. That’s the hardest thing. Because you can’t give someone feedback, do something about it, and then that to happen."

Revealing that he received kind words from the majority of the players after stepping down as coach, he continued:

"When I finished with the Australian cricket team, I would have got messages that make you cry from 90 per cent of the players. “I’ll tell you what I would have done different. This might surprise a lot of people, but in four years of being the head coach of Australia, I presented to the Cricket Australia board three times."

He has ventured into broadcasting despite a good start to his mainstream coaching career. He signed a deal with Channel Seven and was reportedly under consideration for the then-vacant head coach roles in England and Sri Lanka.

Will the former player return as head coach of the Australian team in the future? Let us know what you think.

Also Read: "Aaron Finch gave me some feedback and then I rang him" - Justin Langer on his final days as Australia head coach

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Edited by Samya Majumdar
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