CA appoints Justin Langer as Australian coach for Sri Lanka T20Is
Published - Dec 9, 2016 5:25 am | Updated - Dec 9, 2016 5:25 am
Western Australian coach Justin Langer has been appointed as the head coach of the national side for Australia’s three-match T20 International series against Sri Lanka in February, Cricket Australia’s (CA) announced on Thursday (December 8). Langer, who previously acted as interim coach during Australia’s One-Day International tour of the Caribbean mid-year, will fill Darren Lehmann’s spot who will be part of Australia’s tour of India.
Langer had stiff competition to beat before getting this opportunity. Candidates like Shane Warne, Brad Haddin and Mike Hussey were in the scheme of things. But, eventually Langer grabbed the position Speculation now suggest that Ricky Ponting may be appointed Langer’s assistant coach for the series.
“I thoroughly enjoyed the experience of working with the national side in the Caribbean earlier this year, so I am excited and very grateful to get this opportunity to do it again, this time with the Twenty20 International squad against Sri Lanka,” Langer said. “Twenty20 International cricket is the one format in which Australia is yet to win a global tournament so every chance we get to play it and develop our skills is very significant. That means these three matches will be hugely important.
“The advantage myself and the players will have is that the series will come just over two weeks after the Big Bash League wraps up so we should all still be in Twenty20 mode,” he added. “And with several senior players set to be in India ahead of the Test series, it really will give players an added incentive to perform in the upcoming BBL to put their names forward for selection in the Sri Lanka series.”
Pat Howard, CA’s general manager of team performance, welcomed Langer’s appointment. “He did a terrific job in the Caribbean in June when he stepped in for Darren Lehmann during the successful tri-series and so is already familiar with the working environment around the Australia team,” he said. “He brings a wealth of experience as both a player and a coach and his record in helping the Perth Scorchers to a sustained level of success in the Big Bash League means he fits the bill in all ways.”