Australian cricket legend Matthew Hayden has distanced himself from ever taking the job as coach of the Australian men's cricket team due to the treatment his long-time batting partner Justin Langer received while in the role. Langer led the side from 2018 to early 2022 before turning down a six-month extension.
Multiple reports towards the end of his tenure stated the relationship between players and coach had deteriorated, which led to crisis talks between Cricket Australia chiefs and the senior playing group. Hayden says what happened to Langer was wrong and said the players who had a problem with his coaching style were "cowards" for not taking up their concerns with the Australian great.
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Hayden said the lack of public support for Langer was sad to see and told cricket journalist Melinda Farrell in the latest issue of Wisden Cricket Monthly, that the treatment of Langer turned him off ever wanting to coach Australia. “I wouldn’t (coach Australia), no,” Hayden said.
“After Justin and his treatment, I wouldn’t have any part in trying to coach Australia because I just don’t feel that’s something I would enjoy. I really love Australian cricket and I really love broadcasting on the current cricket team. I think they’re a magnificent team but in terms of an investment, no, it’s not something that I’d even consider.”
Hayden says it is troubling that no modern Aussie great is considering a role in coaching or administration as while Langer was in charge, both Ricky Ponting and Steve Waugh came in to help mentor the side. “What’s quite interesting is that there’s not a former great that is actually at the helm of Australian cricket. Not one,” Hayden said. “Not as a chairman of selectors, not as a coach, not as a board director.
"At no layer is there leadership that’s got a former great player of Australian cricket operating within that team unit. That, to me, is surprising considering we’ve just come out of three great eras or decades of Australian cricket.”
Aussie selectors face David Warner replacement dilemma
Selectors are also preparing themselves for the exit of David Warner in January after he has announced his intention to retire from Test cricket after three matches against Pakistan this home summer. The spot is being hotly contested by Cameron Bancroft, Marcus Harris and Matt Renshaw.
Renshaw returned to the Test team in the middle-order for a single innings and was on standby in England. He has impressed so far this Shield season scoring 271 runs, which includes a century.
Harris on the other hand hasn't fared so well, struggling to build an innings so far, making just 21 runs. While the most in-form choice would come in the form of Bancroft, who in the opening three rounds of Shield this summer has racked up 370 runs with two hundreds at an average of 92.
Bancroft's 10-Test career has suffered two monumental setbacks. The first was a suspension on the back of being part of taking a piece of sandpaper to the ball in an infamous moment in South Africa in 2018. He then was recalled during the Ashes in 2019 but faltered scoring just 44 runs in four innings.
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