Justin Langer theory emerges after Aussie farce at T20 World Cup

Justin Langer, pictured here alongside fans at Optus Stadium.
Could WA fans be angry at the Australian cricket team over Justin Langer's exit? Image: Getty

Cricket commentator Tim Gossage has suggested fans in WA stayed away from Australia's clash with Sri Lanka in Perth on Tuesday night because of residual anger over the way Justin Langer was dumped as coach.

Just over 25,000 fans turned up at Optus Stadium for the must-win match for Australia - less than half of the ground's 60,000 capacity.

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Fans and commentators were quick to blast the scheduling of the match at 7pm on a school night, which may have explained why some families wouldn't have wanted to attend the match.

But Gossage threw up a different theory on Wednesday, suggesting the Australian team is "on the nose' with fans in WA after Langer was dumped as national coach earlier this year.

“It’s fair to say I think the Australian cricket team might be on the nose to those out West,” Gossage said on SEN radio.

“There are probably some repercussions from the exit of Justin Langer.

“As much as he’s moved on and a big section of the sporting and cricket community has moved on, there’s probably a level of people whose care factor has diminished somewhat with the Australian team.

“They might be waiting for the bigger games, they might be waiting for Friday against England at the MCG.

“But 25,000 is disappointing and it (was) certainly a make-or-break game.”

Gossage said it's "going to take time" before fans in the west warm to the Australian team again.

“(Cameron) Green and (Mitch) Marsh, to a lesser extent (Ashton) Agar and maybe (Jhye) Richardson in Test matches, there has to be a WA flavour again," he added.

“Green is very popular over here, Agar is popular but not to the same level as Green who is the poster boy and everyone loves Marsh.

“But we’re one-eyed, there’s absolutely no doubt and Justin Langer, who is a walking, talking cricket god over here in WA (that locals think he) was treated badly.

“There is just a whiff over the Australian cricket team at the moment.”

25,061 fans, pictured here at Australia's clash with Sri Lanka at the T20 World Cup.
Just 25,061 fans attended Australia's clash with Sri Lanka at the T20 World Cup. (Photo by James Worsfold/Getty Images)

Tim Paine slams Cricket Australia over Justin Langer exit

In his new autobiography, former Australia captain Tim Paine has taken aim at Cricket Australia over Langer's exit.

Langer quit his role as head coach of the Australian team in February after being offered just a six-month contract extension despite guiding his side to Ashes glory and a historic T20 World Cup triumph.

“The news came that they’d offered him a six-month contract. What the f**k?” Paine writes.

“To add to the insult, it had been dragged out. Time was wasted. I’ll never back down from my opinion that it was poorly handled, embarrassing and unprofessional.

“I think they knew he wouldn’t accept it and then they wouldn’t have to sack him. It was the easy way out. It was upsetting to see a man who cared so much treated like that. It hurt him deeply.

“The bottom line in all of this is, whether he was kept on or not, he should have been treated better.”

Tim Paine and Justin Langer, pictured here during a training session in 2021.
Tim Paine and Justin Langer look on during a training session in 2021. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

Paine revealed a conversation he had with Langer about how the coach's unpopular style was impacting the playing group.

"It was no secret what the problems were - basically, it was just about his intensity, the boys wanted him to chill out a little bit, be less controlling," Paine added.

"JL (Langer) said, ‘That’s how I am,’ and I replied, ‘I know, but it’s a bit much.’

“After I spoke to the players I rang JL and said that they were on board, but looking back I don’t think they all were.

“Then there was an interview where JL said something about being himself and not changing, which didn’t help things.”

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