Justin Langer thought to be softening to the idea of coaching England

Justin Langer thought to be softening to the idea of coaching England despite his febrile patriotism for Australia – but he expects to oversee all three formats

  • Justin Langer left his role as the Australia coach after this year’s Ashes series
  • The players were reported to have become uneasy with Langer’s style
  • Chris Silverwood was sacked as England coach after the Ashes debacle 

Justin Langer is understood to be softening towards the prospect of coaching England, although a job share would not necessarily suit his style.

Those close to the Australian previously believed he was too patriotic to coach the old enemy but nine weeks since he left his position as head coach of his own country, with a Twenty20 World Cup win and 4-0 Ashes trouncing of Joe Root’s team as parting gifts, he is understood to be willing to discuss the potential switch across international cricket’s greatest rivalry.

However, unlike other potential candidates — such as Ottis Gibson, Jason Gillespie, Gary Kirsten and Paul Collingwood — Langer, 51, would fit best as a figurehead overseeing all three international formats, the model he is understood to prefer if a dramatic change of allegiance is to take place.

Justin Langer is thought to be growing interested in taking over as England’s head coach

Langer is known for his intensity and it was that personality that is said to have turned off a group of Australia’s leading players and backroom staff during the final 12 months of his tenure.

It might be a quality the yet-to-be-appointed managing director of English cricket believes is necessary given that the current plight of the Test team has developed in a dressing room of much softer edges.

However, it goes against the move favoured by the temporary MD Andrew Strauss of splitting the coaching role into two with one individual in charge of Tests and another the limited-overs teams.

The ECB hope to appoint a permanent successor to Ashley Giles (and Strauss) before the first Test against New Zealand on June 2.

The Australian lost his job as coach of the Australia side after the most recent Ashes series

Marcus North and Rob Key are frontrunners for that post, which has arguably not attracted the field of candidates it should have because of the lucrative salaries offered for management positions at the Indian Premier League.

Tom Moody and Andy Flower are two experienced and successful coaches currently engaged on salaries for 10 weeks’ work that they might expect annually in an equivalent international position.

Similarly, IPL commitments mean that neither Mahela Jayawardene nor Kumar Sangakkara have given the vacant positions any thought. However, others could be lured that might not on the surface appear available.

Gibson is yet to take a competitive game in charge of Yorkshire but has vast experience as an international coach with both West Indies and South Africa.

In contrast to Derbyshire’s Mickey Arthur, whose move to county cricket over the winter represented a desire for a change of pace after years on the international treadmill, for Gibson the job at Headingley offered an opportunity to come home.

The 53-year-old has lived in the UK since the 1990s, retaining his family home in Chester-le-Street throughout employment with other international boards, most recently Bangladesh, for whom his contract expired last December.

Gibson would be a popular choice as Test coach, having impressed in two stints as England bowling coach from 2007-10 and 2015-17.

Langer is thought to want responsibility for all three formats if he was to take the job

Kirsten was in the frame in 2019 but he is now keeping his own counsel on the current vacancy after touting himself as a man to revive England’s Test fortunes during Chris Silverwood’s final days in the post.

Kirsten won the 2011 World Cup while in charge of India and then took his native South Africa to the top of the Test rankings. He is currently batting coach of new IPL franchise Gujarat Titans.

The other name that could yet emerge is that of Gillespie, should the incoming England supremo choose to make an approach for the Australian who as a player was a member of one of the greatest Test teams of all time.

Gillespie then won back-to-back County Championship titles with Yorkshire. His family is settled in South Australia, but he remains ambitious and is clearly familiar with the English system.

Collingwood, who remains interim head coach heading towards England’s home summer, will be a strong contender as white-ball specialist in any split.

Share this article

Source: Read Full Article