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Justin Langer has left a cryptic and lengthy message on one of his social media accounts that appears to be in response to ugly speculation about his cricketing future as Australia's coach.
The former Test opener's intense management style has been a constant talking point in 2021, and was brought up by players in an external review earlier in the year.
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Former and current players, including Test skipper Tim Paine and limited overs captain Aaron Finch, gave the coach their backing despite reports of player unrest within the Australian squad.
Crucially, Cricket Australia CEO Nick Hockley also praised the job Langer has done in the aftermath of the infamous ball tampering scandal that saw his successor Darren Lehmann step aside.
“Justin (Langer) has done an incredible job in raising the culture, values and behaviours of the Australian men’s team since he took on the role in 2018,” Hockley said in August.
“His efforts have restored public faith in the national team, which is a side all Australians can be incredibly proud of."
Pressure on Langer mounted after disastrous tours against the West Indies and Bangladesh earlier in the year, when Australia won just once in five games.
A report also emerged at the time that Langer was allegedly involved in a heated confrontation with a Cricket Australia staffer.
To say that 2021 has been a turbulent year for the 50-year-old is almost certainly an understatement.
Perhaps reflecting on that fact on Monday night, the coach took to LinkedIn on Monday night to share a message based on a section of Najwa Zebian's book ‘Mind Platter’.
“A wise man once said: Don’t give them a taste of your own medicine. If they lied, let their medicine be honesty,” the message read.
“If they played with your emotions, let your medicine be maturity. If they broke you, let your medicine heal you. If they made you cry, let your medicine make them smile. These remedies of yours may take years to work, but they work. And they last.
“So be patient. Stay true to yourself. And remember this: it is better for people to value you for who you are, not who you pretend to be. Who you are lasts a lifetime. Who you pretend to be changes like the change of seasons.
“Don’t be afraid to be yourself, even if it means removing yourself from lives you want to be in. You are, no doubt, worthy of being valued for who you are. So be who you are.
“The wise man says: BE YOURSELF. YOU ARE UNIQUE and YOU ARE SPECIAL. Be happy, be healthy, be calm, be strong and BE YOURSELF.”
Justin Langer backed by Aussie cricket icons
In August, Langer's former Aussie batting partner Matthew Hayden took an angry swipe at Langer's detractors and said the recent reports he'd read about the Australia coach were downright "disrespectful".
Fellow former teammate Mark Waugh also labelled the criticism of Langer "unfair" and said his intensity was part and parcel of coaching at the highest level of cricket in Australia.
“It seems like the spotlight has been deflected from the players’ performance straight onto Justin Langer, which I think is unfair. He can’t bat and bowl for the players.”
“Give me a professional sporting coach at the top level who doesn’t have mood swings and who isn’t intense...
“That’s why (Langer) was brought in to start off with; because of his passion, his intensity, discipline. So I’m really surprised there’s so much talk about this. It’s got me beat.”
Former Test batsman Usman Khawaja - whose at times prickly relationship with Langer was highlighted in the Amazon Prime documentary 'The Test' - said it appeared to him as though disgruntled players were "stabbing" the coach in the back by leaking grievances about his intense management style to the media.
Usman Khawaja on Justin Langer:
“He probably feels like the guys in the team are stabbing him the back, and that’s what it looks like. And that’s why it’s so disappointing, it’s actually a really bad look.”https://t.co/5zX9Ob4yYu pic.twitter.com/auhfyUhZ1v
— Nic Savage (@nic_savage1) August 23, 2021
“I think the more important and disappointing thing is the players haven’t stood up and chatted to JL about this a long time ago. Things are still coming out in the media,” Khawaja said on his official YouTube channel in August.
“How do you think JL feels? He probably feels like the guys in the team are stabbing him in the back. And that’s what it looks like.
“That’s why it’s so disappointing. It’s a really bad look and it’s something the group needs to sort out ASAP.”
Khawaja - who was dropped after the 2019 Ashes series but still hopes to represent Australia at Test level again - said he believed Langer was the right man for the national job.
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