Ricky Ponting's shock reveal about Justin Langer in coaching furore

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Ricky Ponting, pictured here speaking to Justin Langer during a Test match against New Zealand in 2020.
Ricky Ponting speaks to Justin Langer during a Test match against New Zealand in 2020. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

Ricky Ponting has revealed how he offered the Hobart Hurricanes' new head coach role to Justin Langer but was rejected.

The Big Bash League franchise's new head of strategy, Ponting announced on Friday that Jeff Vaughan has landed the role.

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Vaughan, the Tasmanian Tigers coach, will combine both roles after it was announced he'd signed a three-year deal to lead the Hurricanes as the replacement for Adam Griffith, who left the role after five seasons in January.

Despite labelling Vaughan's appointment as "exceptional", Ponting revealed that his attempts to lure former Test coach Langer to take on the role had ultimately not come to fruition.

"I said a couple of months ago, when I came down, I'd spoken more to Justin about the head coach's role than I had to any of the other candidates and I'm on record saying that, and I've got no issue saying that again," Ponting told reporters.

"We talked long and hard and we got a fair way down the track about him being the head coach here but the further we went, he's got some other things that he wants to do in his life and he's got some other exciting things that probably happening for him through the course of the summer.

"He's decided to go along that path rather than jump straight back into the coaching ranks."

With Langer no longer an option, Ponting said Vaughan had quickly emerged as a stand-out candidate in his first major task since moving into his head of strategy role with the BBL franchise.

"Continuity was a big factor in appointing Jeff as the head coach of the Hurricanes," Ponting said.

Jeff Vaughan, pictured here during a Sheffield Shield match between Tasmania and South Australia in 2020.
Jeff Vaughan looks on during a Sheffield Shield match between Tasmania and South Australia in 2020. (AAP Image/David Mariuz)

"Obviously as the head coach of the Tasmanian Tigers, I felt that Hobart and Tasmania is well suited to being a one-coach town if you like and one-coach state.

"Having spoken to a lot of people in Tasmanian cricket, a lot of people in Australian cricket, everyone I spoke to about Jeff spoke about him with with glowing reports.

"(He's a ) highly skilled coach, very experienced coach now having worked with Tasmania, the Hurricanes, and with Australia in the Australian set-up over the last four-or-five years.

"His people management skills are second-to-none and, literally, there wasn't a word bad word spoken about him.

"As far as I'm concerned, we've made an exceptional appointment here."

Vaughan will have Darren Berry and James Hopes as his assistants at the Hurricanes, who are chasing their first title in the BBL.

The coaching panel and Ponting will now begin planning Hobart's approach to the inaugural BBL overseas player draft on August 28, with the Hurricanes receiving the eighth and last first round pick after Thursday's draft lottery.

Ricky Ponting and Justin Langer, pictured here during the Ashes series in 2021.
Ricky Ponting and Justin Langer look on during the Ashes series in 2021. (Photo by Nick Potts/PA Images via Getty Images)

Justin Langer's ugly split with Cricket Australia

Langer stepped down as Australia's national coach in acrimonious circumstances in February after he reportedly lost the dressing room.

The 51-year-old quit after being offered a six-month contract extension, which he saw as an insult after he'd guided the team to T20 World Cup and Ashes glory in 2021.

The West Australian said he felt a lack of support he received from Cricket Australia took a toll on his physical and mental health.

Langer recalled a conversation he had with CA chairman Richard Freudenstein the day after he quit, in which Freudenstein referenced the overwhelming support Langer had been receiving from a host of Aussie cricket greats.

"The first thing he said to me was, 'It must make you feel so good that all your mates are supporting you in the media,'" Langer told a Chamber of Commerce and Industry WA event in Perth.

"I said, 'Yeah it is, acting chairman, but with all due respect, those mates are also the all-time greats of Australian cricket. They are the fabric of Australian cricket.

"They are Australian cricket. They also work all around the world in cricket. So yeah, I'm glad my mates are looking after me. Imagine if you had have."

with AAP

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