Justin Langer was so insulted by a token contract extension, he flatly rejected it before resigning as Australian coach.
Justin Langer was reportedly insulted by an extremely short-term contract extension to stay on as Australian coach, which he flatly rejected.
After months of speculation over his future, Langer resigned as coach of the Australian men’s cricket team on Saturday morning, effective immediately.
Langer’s four-year coaching contract was set to expire in June, and there was mounting speculation as to whether the 51-year-old would be granted another multi-year deal due to ongoing player dissatisfaction.
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On Friday, the Cricket Australia board had a marathon eight-hour meeting to discuss Langer’s contract, but could only confirm they would enter “confidential discussions” with the former Australian opener to ensure an outcome “as soon as possible”.
But on Saturday, Langer’s management confirmed he had tendered his resignation.
“The resignation follows a meeting with Cricket Australia last evening,” a DSEG statement read. “The resignation is effective immediately.”
According to The Australian’s Peter Lalor, Langer was offered a six-month contract extension from when his current deal expired in the middle of this year.
A six-month extension would have allowed him to see through the tours of Pakistan, Sri Lanka and India in the subcontinent, as well as the chance to defend Australia’s World T20 title on home soil in October-November before bowing out.
There had been speculation Langer was hoping for a multi-year contract extension and the six-month contract didn’t sit too well with him.
Langer was reportedly insulted by the token offer when it was put to him on Friday night and he rejected it immediately.
The offer came after Langer this week turned down a lucrative bonus to help Cricket Australia’s bottom line during the pandemic, while also conscious several staff members had lost their jobs due to budgetary pressures.
A six-month contract extension would have kept Langer in the job until the end of this year but crucially, it did not not guarantee he would coach Australia to the next series in England in 2023.
Langer was at the helm when Australia retained the Ashes 2-2 in England in 2019, but he would have been desperate to remain coach until the 2023 away series, motivated by the goal of becoming the first Australian side to win an away Ashes series in England since 2001.
It’s believed Langer resigned before getting on a plane to return to fly back home to Perth for the first time in six months.
“The contract extension offered to Justin was the result of a thorough review process that evaluated many factors including future requirements of the team and the upcoming extensive schedule of fixtures,” CA said in a statement.
“The extension was approved by the CA Board and was put to Justin last night. It included the opportunity to defend the T20 World Cup title in Australia at the end of this year.
“Justin informed CA this morning he was not accepting the offer and would resign with immediate effect.”
In the meantime, assistant coach Andrew McDonald will take over as caretaker coach ahead of next month’s tour of Pakistan.
Australian cricket greats including Ricky Ponting and Matthew Hayden have slammed Cricket Australia’s handling of Langer’s contract situation.
Ponting said the saga was “almost embarrassing” and labelled it “a really sad day as far as Australian cricket is concerned”.