SYDNEY (Reuters) - Australian cricket must move on from the damaging ball tampering scandal and the team could not have found a better coach to help them achieve that than Justin Langer, his predecessor Darren Lehmann has said.
Langer was named on Thursday as the replacement for Lehmann, who resigned in the wake of the Cape Town scandal even though he was cleared of wrongdoing by Cricket Australia.
Former captain Steve Smith and his deputy David Warner are serving year-long bans while Cameron Bancroft has been suspended for nine months over the incident.
“I’m just so pleased that Australian cricket is going to be in such good hands,” Lehmann told cricket.com.au. “He’s got the best job in the world, and I know it’s a job that I’ll miss because I loved every minute of it.
“But this is a time that Australian cricket needs to move forward and they couldn’t have a better person to lead them now.”
Langer, a gritty opening batsman who played in some of Australia’s greatest teams, has been appointed coach of the test, one-day and T20 sides for the next four years.
He will also be part of a players’ review aimed at improving a team culture and conduct that former players and media pundits have long criticised as boorish and out of step with public expectations.
Lehmann, who took Australia to the 2015 World Cup title, consecutive Ashes victories at home and to the top of the world test and ODI rankings, said Langer had to find a formula to be successful playing the right way.
“He spoke passionately about how he wants them to play, and he’s going to find the right balance that works best for that group,” said Lehmann.
“There’s no doubt that the toughest time in that job is when the team’s not winning.
“As he said in his media conference, winning away from home is the ambition for every team, but winning at home is also paramount. Winning away is everyone’s aspiration, but if you don’t win at home that starts to present its own challenges.”
Reporting by Sudipto Ganguly in Mumbai; editing by Peter Rutherford