Langer’s ‘Fair’ CA Rating: Cummins | the islander
Pat Cummins has again chosen not to publicly endorse Justin Langer, saying Cricket Australia’s call to assess the coach’s position is “fair” ahead of Friday’s crucial board meeting.
Langer’s contract is one of many issues to be discussed in what will be one of the most crucial meetings for CA directors.
Power brokers will also discuss candidates for a new president before it moves on to state presidents, four months after Earl Eddings exited.
Next month’s tour of Pakistan is also up for approval, with CA set to approve Australia’s first trip to the country in 24 years.
But the majority of attention will be on Langer after six months of speculation.
Langer’s contract expires in June, with Friday’s board meeting being the last before the team departs for Pakistan.
Langer can argue the performance on the pitch warrants an extension, meaning any decision outside of him retaining the role will be a tough sell to the public.
But it has also become clear that the focus will be on Langer himself rather than team results.
Its intense, old-fashioned straight-forward nature came under intense scrutiny and was a key sticking point for players when the issue erupted in August and prompted high-level meetings.
The coach has since been keen to give up some control at the behest of management, noticed by himself and others during the T20 World Cup success.
Test captain Cummins and his white ball counterpart Aaron Finch have both spoken to the AC hierarchy since the end of the Ashes 4-0 series win in Australia.
“That’s in the hands of Cricket Australia,” Cummins told reporters when asked if he had the players’ backing and if that would be final on the matter.
“JL is doing a fantastic job. He’s been there for four years.
“His contract is obviously up soon, so they’re going through an evaluation process at the moment, which I think is fair and the right thing to do.
“We are all valued all the time as cricketers, it’s part of a high performance environment.”
High performance director Ben Oliver is expected to address the board on the issue, after he and CEO Nick Hockley met with Langer last week.
The directors could then choose to talk more with Langer before offering him an extension or telling him his time is up.
Langer has several supporters with virtually all of his ex-teammates speaking out in his favour.
The current players have remained largely silent on the matter, continually insisting the decision is above their pay grade.
Cummins was adamant Thursday it wasn’t his job to say if Langer had his full support.
“It’s part of the speculation that I don’t think is healthy. I don’t think it helps anyone, so I don’t want to add any,” Cummins said when launching an initiative of solar energy.
“It’s Cricket Australia’s job, it’s not my job. I really enjoyed my time working with JL.
“We had an evaluation process, I was part of it. A lot of other players and staff were part of it.
“I have huge respect for JL, I really enjoy working with him. But it’s not my decision.”
Australian Associated Press