Former Australian coach Justin Langer spectacularly resigned at the weekend in response to being unfairly shafted from his post by Cricket Australia (CA). Whether or not he was the right man to move forward as Australian coach, CA denied one of the sport's greats a proper send-off.
The CA board's decision not to offer him a substantial contract extension (just six months) came just days after England coach Chris Silverwood lost his role. Silverwood was accused of having a 'soft, lassez-faire' approach, while Langer was critiqued for his 'intense' coaching style, yet both are without jobs.
But in professional sport, that's precisely what it is, a job. Langer is widely reported to be in the frame to take over the vacant English post. Who could begrudge him for potentially jumping the Ashes fence and donning a blue English tracksuit?
Having rejected a six-month contract extension from CA, Langer's fervor appetite to continue coaching long term is clear. He should seek all avenues to continue his coaching career. There should be no guilt or tentativeness about the prospect of leading England - a move that could backfire on CA in next year's Ashes series.
His business would do wonders for the English side. Moving into enemy territory facing all sorts of adversity and pressure would not be a gross departure from the values that personified Langer's 105-Test long playing career. The biggest challenge seems to be mustering enough willpower to wear any sort of clothing with an England crest.
Langer will arguably have the sharpest focus on how to mend the red-ball game for England, having spent the best part of the last six months pulling them apart. Langer's brilliant tactics in Australia's recent 4-0 Ashes triumph cost England coach Silverwood his job. He knows where England's strengths and weaknesses lie.
He was rumored to deny power to the Australian players and house an intense, authoritarian micro-managing coaching style. It may benefit an English side that has been devoid of a 'kick into line'.
In terms of theatrics and commerciality of the 2023 Ashes, an extraordinary build-up to the series potentially awaits us. It could well read as Langer taking on the Australian players, who wanted him out a year prior.
Many Australian greats have already called for England to sign him, including Brendon Julian, Shane Warne, Matthew Hayden and Mark Waugh.
"If I were the ECB (England Cricket Board) I'd be poaching Justin. I'd be signing him up next week," Shane Warne said speaking to Fox Cricket.
Strauss confirms Langer in line for England job
New England cricket boss Andrew Strauss has already confirmed Langer could be a shock contender to coach the English side. They played together at Middlesex and the two left-handed openers are widely reported to be longtime friends.
Strauss wrote in his 2013 autobiography that JL was a leader he considered himself very fortunate to have worked with. Strauss went on to say that he was a gritty little fighter who was a little intense, but very passionate. Langer hated the lazy, in-your-comfort-zone attitude displayed by county cricketers.
Perhaps that attitude may finally springboard England's talent in the county game to Test level.
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