War of words as CA hit back at Langer

A war of words has erupted between Cricket Australia and Justin Langer after CEO Nick Hockley rejected criticism from the former coach and moved to defend senior players.

Langer attracted front- and back-page headlines on Wednesday when he lashed out at officials over his February axing, while accusing players of not being up front with him early enough.

The former coach also claimed the majority of players supported him, while labelling sources who leaked concerns over his intense nature to the media as "cowards" with agendas.

Speaking to the Back Chat podcast, Langer 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."

The drama coincides with concerns of a rift between current and former players over Langer's exit, centred around whether players should have stood by the coach.

Langer insisted he was not an angry coach, and that players had misinterpreted his silence and reflection after losses.

He also claimed there was no mutiny against him beyond a few loud voices, and was adamant he deserved more than a six-month extension after T20 World Cup and Ashes successes.

"The hardest thing for me of all of it was, I got the feedback (and) I did something about it," Langer said.

"We won the T20 World Cup, we won the Ashes. We were No.1 in the world ... And I've still got sacked.

"You can't give someone feedback, (they) do something about it, and then (for) that to happen."

Having largely maintained an eight-month silence over Langer's exit, Hockley on Wednesday broke that when he claimed he wanted to "correct inaccuracies" in the former coach's comments.

"Regular formal and informal opportunities to provide and receive feedback took place throughout his tenure, which is consistent with a high-performance environment," Hockley said.

"Following a comprehensive process, Justin was offered a short-term contract extension, which he rejected.

"I am disappointed by Justin's comments unfairly criticising some of our players. The playing group are aware they have my full support."

The drama comes a week out from Australia's first Test against West Indies in Perth, where there is significant hometown support for Langer.

The former coach will also step into the commentary box for the first time with Seven, meaning the ghosts of his tenure are likely to linger over the summer.

It is unlikely Langer's comments will go down well with current players, who could be interviewed by their old coach during broadcasts during the season.

Some close to the team have claimed last summer's success came after Langer took a back seat following the mid-year feedback, with assistants taking charge.

There were signs of feedback as early as the 2018 Boxing Day Test, after which Usman Khawaja can be seen in The Test documentary telling Langer players were "intimidated" and "walking on eggshells".