Justin Langer blow-up poses issue ahead of Aussie Test cricket series
As a former opening batsman, Justin Langer should know plenty about timing.
And Langer's timing in unloading on the Australian cricket team a week out from a Test series against the West Indies was a real bottom edge onto middle stump.
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It doesn’t take much to stir Western Australians up – particularly if they can sniff an eastern states conspiracy – and it appears they will sit this first Test out in big numbers in some sort of show of solidarity to the ousted Langer.
Playing the first three days during work/school time is also a factor in the low pre-match ticket sales, while there's a perception – real or imagined – Australian cricket fans aren't really enamoured with Pat Cummins' team.
But there's no doubt Perth Stadium would have more bums on seats had Langer not attempted to settle old scores by venting his spleen over his messy departure from the national head coaching role.
If that outburst was hard enough to stomach, Langer's subsequent backtracking and assurances all was sweet with the players he once watched over was bordering on embarrassing.
Talk about a PR smother.
As former Australia captain Mark Taylor said on Wide World of Sports: "The only thing I would say to Justin, or to players, or to administrators in general, is I’d like to see everyone just think a little bit more about Australian cricket - and I don’t mean Cricket Australia, I mean Australian cricket - before they make comment.
"It's not great for the brand of Australian cricket. Let’s have a bit more positivity around Australian cricket. Less thought about individual brands and a bit more about the team brand or the nation brand."
Justin Langer comments set to hang over Test series
By putting himself front and centre without thinking about the ramifications, Langer has made it all about him leading into this Test.
There will be as much focus and commentary around how the players respond to their former boss should they cross paths with Langer in his new role at Channel 7 as there will be with what happens in the middle.
Every word he utters from the commentary box will be dissected for any hint of antagonism and amateur body language experts will wear out the pause/rewind button looking for any sign of resentment.
The great fear is Australia will have its own Alex Hales-Eoin Morgan moment before the summer is out.
Don’t bet against it.
Alex Hales didn't even look for a second towards Eoin Morgan. 😂 pic.twitter.com/3wMjNhrS6S
— Mufaddal Vohra (@mufaddal_vohra) November 5, 2022
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