Australian cricket captain Pat Cummins has once again brushed aside rumours that players were behind Justin Langer's decision to resign as national coach.
Langer sent shockwaves across the cricket world at the start of February when he announced he was stepping down as Australia coach.
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Following a lengthy and very public contract saga, Langer eventually rejected a six-month contract extension from Cricket Australia (CA).
Langer perhaps justifiably thought he deserved a longer deal after helping to mastermind a 4-0 Ashes series win and a T20 World Cup title in the space of only a few months.
However, as Cummins revealed shortly after the coach's exit, there was an overriding sense that the players needed a change at the top and a style of coach that better suited their needs.
"To be better players for Australia, from this solid foundation, we need a new style of coaching and skillset," Cummins said in a statement at the time.
"This was the feedback players gave to Cricket Australia. And I understand it's the feedback support staff also gave.
"I add that as professional sportspeople we would have accepted any decision CA were to make because that's what professionals do."
Cummins himself came under fire for refusing to publicly back calls for Longer to be given a longer contract, but denies persistent suggestions that the players pushed the coach out.
“Certainly our feedback was heard (byCA), as I think it should be,” Cummins told SEN 1170 Breakfast.
“But to say that we are decision-makers is quite far from the truth. It’s a high-performance set-up, there’s the board that makes decisions, so of course, people within the environment get consulted, that includes senior players, staff members, which I think has always been the case.
“I think that’s the right way to do things, it’s healthy. Nothing untoward, for sure.”
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Former Aussie Test fast bowler Mitchell Johnson was among the most vocal critics of Cummins, but the Aussie skipper said he understood facing such scrutiny was all part and parcel of captaining the national side.
“It was okay, I felt for Justin as much as anyone else, but I knew when I became captain I was going to cop it for different things,” Cummins added.
“If anything, it kind of reminded me I’ve got to look after the team and do what’s best for Australian cricket.
“All the noise and things that might come with it come from a good place, but I can’t let it affect me too much.”
Interim coach Andrew Macdonald is the front-runner to take over as Australia's new coach, with a move unlikely to happen until after Australia's tour of Pakistan.
However, Cummins said Macdonald would be a popular choice for many of the players.
“I think he’s certainly capable (of being full-time coach), for sure,” Cummins said.
“(It’s) certainly not my decision, I think they’ll run a process probably after this (Pakistan) series, so we’ll see how he goes.
“But he’s been fantastic, he’s widely respected and experienced, so if he puts his hand up I’m sure they’ll take a close look at him.”
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