Cricket Australia (CA) will begin the process of appointing a new head coach this Friday, even as one report suggested that Justin Langer is all but confirmed as Darren Lehmann’s replacement. CA said in a statement that “no appointment has been made, and nor will any candidate be put to the board for ratification on Friday. We expect to have a clearer understanding of the approach and appointment timelines following this meeting.”
That would appear to be in response to a report in the West Australian, which said that Langer will be ratified as the next coach on Friday. The 47-year old has been especially successful as coach of Western Australia and Perth Scorchers over the last five seasons, during which time he has won three Big Bash League titles and two domestic one-day tournaments. Langer has experience coaching Australia as well, notably on a tour of West Indies in 2016 and a home series against Sri Lanka soon after. He has always been among the frontrunners to replace Lehmann, whose contract was originally set to end in October 2019. But the ball-tampering scandal in Cape Town accelerated those timelines.
The captain Steven Smith, vice-captain David Warner and batsman Cameron Bancroft were suspended by Cricket Australia for up to 12 months for the part they played in the incident. Lehmann was cleared of any wrongdoing by an investigation conducted by the board but on the day before the final Test of the series, he told a press conference that he would be stepping down.
The West Australian said Langer had been considering the position for several days. As a player, he had a highly decorated Test career, forming one half of a dominant opening partnership with Matthew Hayden. Having made his debut in January 1993, he scored 7696 runs from 105 matches with 23 hundreds and 30 fifties.
Australia’s next assignment is a limited-overs tour of England with the first ODI to be played in London on June 13.