Justin Langer risks burning one too many bridges if he keeps up his crusade against Cricket Australia, Simon O'Donnell says. The former Test star is concerned the fallout from Langer's recent comments about his resignation as coach could end up having long-term ramifications for his career.
Langer sparked major headlines this week following a podcast appearance in which he labelled anonymous sources who had leaked against him during his time as coach of Australia 'cowards'. His comments came after it was revealed test captain Pat Cummins was hoping to mend relationships between the team and several former players, former teammates of Langer's among them, after substantial criticism was directed at players after the coach's departure.
Cricket Australia boss Nick Hockley hit back at some of Langer's comments on Wednesday, refuting the suggestion that Langer had only limited opportunities to give and receive feedback from the governing body.
Hockley also backed the current playing group against the criticism they had copped over the past year, believing much of it was unwarranted.
The ongoing saga has left O'Donnell concerned for Langer's future, and believes it would be in the former coach's best interests to simply appreciate the success he was able to achieve while he had the job.
O'Donnell told SEN Breakfast that he was worried Langer's complaints would eventually lose their weight if he continued on his current course of action.
“That’s the ugly side of this. He’s got to be really careful not to lose the room,” O'Donnell warned. "The key ingredient, still at the end of the day, is the game is bigger than the individual.
"There’s a lot of people that have left Australian cricket over the journey and other sports disgruntled. It doesn’t mean you just roll it back out there and have your say.
“I’d like him to stop and if he needs to do anything about it, I think he needs to go through other channels other than just letting fly on podcasts or news services et cetera.”
Justin Langer determined to defend reputation after coaching saga
In his appearance on the Back Chat podcast, Langer insisted he was not an angry coach, and that players had misinterpreted his silence and reflection after losses. The 52-year-old praised former Test captain Tim Paine's feedback but claimed others, including Pat Cummins and Aaron Finch, should have been up front earlier.
"I spoke to Pat Cummins. He said to me about five times, 'This might be brutally honest'," Langer recalled.
"I said, 'Pat, there is nothing brutal about your feedback. What is brutal is I'm hearing it behind my back through the media or through sources. No one's telling me. Tell me.
"People say that I'm very intense, but they're mistaking intensity with honesty."
However O'Donnell cautioned Langer about his honesty in revealing certain conversations he had held. Instead, he encouraged Langer to do his best to let go of the saga.
“He can be free to speak, I’m not saying he shouldn’t speak, that’s up to him,” O'Donnell added.
“But I think he loses relationships hand over fist the more he speaks about it the longer the period is that he’s gone.
“You can’t just carry these grudges forever. You’ve got to move on and it’s taking him a while to move on.”
Langer said he had been left deeply hurt by hearing positive feedback face-to-face, only to later read negative headlines about himself based on comments from anonymous sources.
“Everyone was being nice to my face but I was reading about this stuff, and half of it ... I could not believe that is what was making the papers," Langer said.
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