'He'll walk away': Aussie great's bombshell Justin Langer call

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Coach Justin Langer helped guide Australia to its fist T20 men's World Cup title. Pic: Getty
Coach Justin Langer helped guide Australia to its fist T20 men's World Cup title. Pic: Getty

Justin Langer will "walk away" from Australian cricket if his side wins this summer's Ashes series against England, according to former captain, Michael Clarke.

Langer's future as Australia's coach has been under an intense spotlight in 2021, with reports of player unrest as a result of his intense management style.

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The coach and former Test opener answered many of his critics after helping to guide Australia to its maiden T20 World Cup title, following an eight-wicket win over New Zealand in the Dubai final.

Langer arrived in Brisbane on Tuesday morning along with members of the World Cup-winning squad, having helped deliver the one cricketing trophy that had eluded Australia's men.

The 50-year-old came under intense pressure to keep his job earlier this year but was backed by Cricket Australia (CA) chief executive officer Nick Hockley, as well as Test skipper, Tim Paine.

Langer is contracted until mid-2022, with CA having shelved discussions about a new deal until the end of the five-Test Ashes series against England.

However, Clarke is confident that should Langer oversee an Ashes series win over Australia's old enemy, then the coach will call it a day.

"Knowing Lang, he won't coach for the wrong reasons," Clarke said during a 2022 T20 World Cup event at the SCG.

"If he thinks his job's done then I think he'll walk away.

Michael Clarke reckons the upcoming Ashes series could be Justin Langer's last as Australia coach. Pic: AAP
Michael Clarke reckons the upcoming Ashes series could be Justin Langer's last as Australia coach. Pic: AAP

"Because if we win the Ashes series, he's achieved everything that he came in for.

"I'd love to see him walk away on his own terms, whenever that is.

"He should be extremely proud of what he's achieved and I hope... we win the Ashes series then give him the option to do whatever he wants."

The West Australian is yet to give any indication he is contemplating an exit, having repeatedly referred to a Test series win in India as "Mt Everest" since being appointed after the Cape Town cheating scandal.

Australia are slated to play Test series in Pakistan and India next year, with Langer's immediate focus on retaining the Ashes trophy in a series that kicks off at the Gabba, on December 8.

Justin Langer's key backing as Australia coach 

Hockley, who held crisis talks about the under-siege coach with on-field leaders Paine, Aaron Finch and Pat Cummins during August, is certain to seek the opinion of players before potentially reappointing Langer.

Clarke said Langer's strengths as a batter also made him a great coach.

"Justin's the right guy to coach Australia... he's tough, he has high expectation," he said.

"He's come out and openly said that he wants to get better, he wants to learn.

"Whatever he's doing is working. We're winning, we're getting better as a team.

"This is probably a great opportunity for all of us to actually praise Lang's style and what he's been doing because he's copped a fair share of criticism."

Star quick Josh Hazlewood revealed that Langer took a much more low-key approach during Australia's victorious T20 World Cup campaign, following previous criticism about his intense management style.

"He has probably taken a big back seat and let a lot of other staff play their roles," Hazlewood said.

"Players as well, (Langer has empowered them) to take a bit more ownership."

with AAP

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