Former Test star Damien Martyn has taken a stinging shot at Geoff Lawson over an ugly saga in Australian cricket.
Lawson - himself a retired Test fast bowler for Australia - took aim at national coach Justin Langer, who along with Trevor Hohns, is one of only two current selectors for the Aussie side.
George Bailey will make it a three-man selection panel when his Big Bash stint with the Hobart Hurricanes comes to an end after this season.
Among other things, Lawson accused Langer of playing favourites after bringing veteran Peter Siddle back into the Aussie squad for the Boxing Day test against New Zealand.
Shane Warne also said Siddle's recall represented a "step backwards", arguing that selectors should be looking to the future rather than persisting with older players.
Lawson also claimed that as the coach of the national side Langer had a “limited view of the game” because he doesn't have time to watch all of Australia's domestic matches.
Langer said it was "not his style to get personal" when asked about a response to Lawson's comments.
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However, Langer's former Test teammate and fellow West Australian Damien Martyn took to Twitter to vent his anger at Lawson's suggestions of favouritism.
“First of all Geoff Lawson is not a legend,” Martyn wrote.
“Secondly JL (Justin Langer) does not select on personal or emotional decisions. We all can have our own opinions. But get the facts right.”
First of all Geoff Lawson is not a legend... Secondly JL does not select on personal or emotional decisions. We all can have our own opinions. But get the facts right. —Justin Langer responds to legend’s ‘personal’ attack over Peter Siddle selection... https://t.co/jCBWbrId8H— Damien Martyn🏏 (@damienmartyn) December 18, 2019
Langer did his best to take the criticism in his stride.
‘Everyone's got a different opinion’
"It's not my style to get personal. I'll just take it on the chin. It's part of the job unfortunately," he said.
"Everyone's got a different opinion on it. That's OK.
"I don't think we should discriminate against Peter Siddle because of his age.
"We're all about winning this Test series and we believe - if required - he'd be the person to help us do that."
Nevertheless, the Aussie coach says James Pattinson is the favourite to replace Hazlewood (hamstring) in Australia’s XI, with Michael Neser also a chance to play if Australia opt for four quicks against NZ at the MCG.
Siddle’s odds of a shock 68th Test appearance are slim, with Langer saying it would take a couple of injuries for the 35-year-old to get a look in.
In his favour, Siddle has an excellent Test record at the MCG, snaring 26 wickets at an average of 24.5 over seven appearances.
"Nes and Patto have been a part of the squad so I'm probably sitting behind those two," Siddle told reporters from Adelaide where he has joined up with BBL side, the Strikers.
"(But) my record at home probably does help me a little bit.
"We'll wait and see what the wicket looks like in the lead up and we'll go from there.
"There's obviously a lot of different ways you could pick this next line-up."
Langer was cryptic when asked if he was seriously considering unleashing four pacemen.
"I might have just been giving New Zealand something to think about, mightn't I?" he said with a smile.
NZ have called up rookie quick Kyle Jamieson as a replacement for Lockie Ferguson (calf) for the final two Tests against Australia.
But with fit-again paceman Trent Boult set to replace Ferguson for Melbourne, Jamieson is unlikely to be needed just yet.