Australian head coach Justin Langer says a report detailing issues with his ‘passionate’ coaching style has come as a ‘wake-up call’ and vowed to learn from the experience.
An eye-opening report from the Sydney Morning Herald outlined various gripes about Langer’s style - however no players quoted in the reports were named.
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The report generated controversy over the weekend, with former captain Michael Clarke saying it was ‘weak’ for players to be unwilling to put their name to their criticism of Langer.
“I’m not going to ignore this, of course, and absolutely it is a wake-up call,” Langer told ESPNcricinfo.
“My greatest mentors in life are the people who told me the truth and were toughest on me, and I’ve always needed that honest feedback. I might not enjoy it at the time, but it is so, so valuable.”
One of the more bizarre incidents detailed in the SMH story was of Langer scolding a player for attempting to sneak a toastie on field after a lunch break during the fourth Test at the Gabba.
“You’re walking on against India, we’re trying to win a Test match and one of our players walks on with a toasted sandwich in his hand,” Langer said in the SMH report.
“I spoke to (the player) about it at length yesterday. I said, ‘How do you reckon it looks, mate?’ Is that not something I should say?”
In his further comments to ESPNcricinfo, Langer had no reservations about outing the player involved - although he clearly seemed to see the funny side.
“I’m the grumpiest prick in the world because I told Marnus Labuschagne not to take a toasted ham and cheese sandwich (to the dugout) after his 40-minute lunch break,” he said.
Justin Langer defends coaching style after bombshell report
While Langer admitted the report had come as a ‘wake-up call’, he made no bones about his coaching style, admitting he could be ‘grumpy’ at times.
He added that he would have preferred for the players to come to him directly - giving him a better opportunity to learn from his mistakes.
“The only disappointing thing from the weekend’s reports was there was discussion things were coming from within the camp,” Langer told Cricket Et Cetera.
“You know me, I’m a pretty simple bloke and let’s get this on the record: yeah I am intense, yeah I am serious, I am.
“Do I get grumpy sometimes? Yeah I get grumpy sometimes, I’m not perfect that’s for sure, but I’m pretty good at some of the things I do and you just don’t like it when you feel people — through managers or players, whatever — I would rather they came straight to me, that’s the Australian way as I know it, let’s talk through it, let’s go through it and work things out.”
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